Author Topic: Richmond's record at the MCG is not what sets Tigers apart: Dangerfield (Fox)  (Read 255 times)

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Richmond record at the MCG: Patrick Dangerfield says that’s not what sets Tigers apart

July 11, 2018
Anna Harrington

GEELONG star Patrick Dangerfield says while Richmond has a strong record at the MCG, that’s not what sets them apart from the rest of the AFL.

Much has been made of the Tigers’ sensational form at their home ground, having won their past 17 games on the hallowed turf.

But Dangerfield, citing an example of footage where young Tiger Dan Butler turned the ball over by hand, before winning it back with his tackling, said it was the entire Richmond team’s commitment to their pressure game that put them on a pedestal.

“That’s got nothing to do with the MCG, the vision we just saw then,” Dangerfield said in a Player Takeover edition of On the Couch.

“Because everyone talks about they play a lot at the MCG, their record there, they’ve won 16 or 17 in a row.

“But that vision, that’s got nothing to do with the geography or the dimensions of the ground.

“That’s just the will, the want, the intent and the knowledge that they’re all on the same page.”

Melbourne skipper Nathan Jones said the Tigers’ willingness to continue to chase, harass and put pressure on — even after making mistakes — showed why they were the clear team to beat this year.

“I just love their defensive intent,” Jones said.

“I think if you watch this piece of play, even with mistakes, how quickly they move on, chase, tackle, pressure outnumber at each contest. Even when there’s errors, just getting the ball forward.

“Everyone’s chasing them — they’re obviously the top of the tree at the moment. There’s a reason why and this is it, this is why they’re so good.”

GWS co-captain Phil Davis agreed, saying the Tigers were better at “outnumbering” their opposition around the contest than any other team.

“It’s about outnumbering, this game now, who can get the most numbers to the contest, make up for mistakes,” Davis said.

“Because the games are so mistake-ridden these days, it’s out of control … they outnumber better than anyone else and their pressure’s outstanding.”

Dangerfield said the Cats didn’t tend to focus on Richmond except in the lead-up to playing them.

But he noted the way the Tigers’ forward group — led by Jack Riewoldt — defended from the front created opportunities to scrap out goals.

“Only when you’re really playing them (do you focus on them) to be honest. It is different playing at the MCG, they’ve really mastered it, but the way they swarm — as Jonesy said — they’re all on the same page,” Dangerfield said.

“They almost defend the ball in their forward half, like Jack’ll go for those marks … but he’ll also defend it to the ground to make sure that those small forwards have their opportunities to score and they’re very unselfish down there.”

Davis said the way the Richmond forwards defended stopped other teams from being able to take intercept marks and generate scores off half back.

“Intercept possessions and scoring from turnovers is one of the biggest stats in footy at the moment but they don’t allow it,” he said.

“They play with the smallest forward line in the competition but you just can’t intercept mark.

“They bring it to the ground and then all of a sudden, Rioli, Butler, Short — all of these players get involved and that’s how they create scores.”

Davis said the Tigers’ selflessness and willingness to work for each other set them apart.

“I look at them with a bit of admiration because what they’re able to do,” he said.

“You talk about role players — (the) thing about footy clubs is that there are so many important players — I think about Nick Smith from Sydney — who are unheralded but that want to contribute and that role playing nature takes a very selfless person.

“That’s what football clubs are built on and that’s what Richmond have got in spades.”