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VFLW Tigers inaugural training session

The VFLW Tigers have begun their pre-season campaign, with 45 players fighting for a spot on the Club’s 2018 list.

12:27pm  Jan 19, 2018

Rioli set to run

Richmond star Daniel Rioli is set to begin running next week after undergoing surgery in October to recover from a broken foot sustained in the Tigers' Grand Final victory over Adelaide.

11:46am  Jan 18, 2018

Midsumma Festival launch

Richmond’s commitment to diversity and inclusion was on show at last Sunday’s Midsumma Festival launch at Alexandra Gardens.

5:14pm  Jan 17, 2018

Richmond’s biggest demon is disposal efficiency

May 13, 2013 3:13 PM

Finally after three frustrating losses the Tigers managed to convincingly defeat Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

What bewildered me throughout the past few weeks was that although we were on the back foot, we didn’t statistically fall behind our opposition too much. What I found to be true is that statistics are overrated and momentum alongside possession efficiency are of more importance.

Below I have included four of the most important statistics that critics, supporters and possibly coaches look at during and after football matches. These statistics are disposals, contested possession, tackles and inside 50s against our last four opponents. What’s interesting about Richmond’s losses is that they didn’t fall behind too badly statistically. When it comes to disposal efficiency however, they fell well behind their opposition.



Disposals – Richmond 335, opposition 349.

Contested Possession – Richmond 122, opposition 131.

Tackles – Richmond 33, opposition 48.

Inside 50s – Richmond 47, opposition 55.

The media were ruthless when they shouted from the rooftops that Richmond only laid 33 tackles for this entire match, and only 4 in that third quarter when Collingwood piled on 8 goals. What they didn’t acknowledge however was that Richmond had 47 one percent plays throughout the whole match compared to Collingwood’s 26. That means although we weren’t tackling, our players were still pressuring, spoiling, smothering, diving, and trying their hearts out.


When you look at the statistics, Collingwood had 16 players with a disposal efficiency rating of 70% or over.

Richmond on the other hand? 12 players over 70%.

Scott Pendlebury had 27 disposals at 93% D.E

Trent Cotchin had 27 disposals at 63% D.E


Pendlebury had no clangers, Cotchin had five.

Dustin Martin had 17 disposals at 53% D.E

Dane Swan had 35 disposals at 71% D.E

Richmond only lost the clearances 31-34, yet when the ball itself is cleared, there’s no use to clear it if possession is lost. Disposal efficiency is probably the most important stat now. If two midfields are going against each other, what separates them might not be clearances, tackles or metres gained, it’s most definitely the ability to build a clean possession game. Richmond didn’t have that against Collingwood. That was the difference.

Oh, Travis Cloke smashing through seven goals doesn’t hurt either. His DE was sitting at a comfortably 85%.


Disposals – Richmond 341, opposition 368.

Contested Possession – Richmond 155, opposition 145.

Tackles – Richmond 73, opposition 64.

Inside 50s – Richmond 45, opposition 50.

This game’s result was only one point. The statistics all look relatively even and they were, we only lost by one point! But if you could find a difference between both sides, what would it be?

Fremantle had 13 players with a disposal efficiency of over 70%. More than half of those players had a D.E higher than 80%.

Richmond on the other hand had only 10 players with a disposal efficiency of over 70%. Three of them, compared to the Dockers seven, had over 80% efficiency.

Dustin Martin had 22 disposals and he ran at 63% D.E.

Stephen Hill for Fremantle had 23 disposals and ran at 83%. If you think I’m picking and choosing, how about Clancee Pearce? He had 24 disposals and ran at 79% D.E.

Shaun Grigg & Ivan Maric were running under 55%. The quality of possession is of most importance.




Disposals – Richmond 352, opposition 390.

Contested Possession – Richmond 133, opposition 135.

Tackles – Richmond – 53, opposition 51.

Inside 50s – Richmond 46, opposition 58.

These statistics don’t suggest Richmond could have lost by 44 points.


Let’s go straight to the Disposal Efficiency.

Trent Cotchin – 17 disposals, 65% D.E.

Bachar Houli – 17 disposals, 65% D.E.

Brett Deledio – 20 disposals, 60% D.E.

Dustin Martin – 22 disposals, 68% D.E.

Jack Riewoldt  - 11 disposals, 64% D.E.

Shane Edwards – 30 disposals, 57% D.E


Joel Selwood – 23 disposals, 78% D.E.

Matthew Stokes – 28 disposals, 71% D.E.

Jimmy Bartel – 27 disposals, 74% D.E.

Corey Enright – 28 disposals, 75% D.E.

Allen Christensen – 28 disposals, 79% D.E.

Port Adelaide

It’s fair to say the three games we lost, we also convincingly lost the battle of disposal efficiency. Now that this result against Port swings in our favour, it’s interesting to analyse our D.E. performance.

11 players over 80% Disposal Efficiency.

  • 18 players over 70% Disposal Efficiency.
  • Dustin Martin 33 disposals at 79%.
  • Brett Deledio 32 disposals at 75%.
  • Alex Rance 22 disposals at 96%

Let’s compare that to Port Adelaide.

  • 6 players over 80% Disposal Efficiency.
  • 12 players over 70% Disposal Efficiency.
  • Ollie Wines 18 disposals at 59%
  • Travis Boak 24 disposals at 58%
  • Hamish Hartlett 10 disposals at 40%

The pressure we placed on the opposition’s best players was astronomical. Arguably Port Adelaide’s three best midfields were left with 52 disposals between them at a D.E. rate of 53%. While our best two midfielders had 65 disposals at 77% D.E

If you’re ever scratching your head wondering how Richmond performed for the week, look no further than our D.E. Damien Hardwick made no secret of his love for accurate kicks. It’s what made the Hawthorn team of 2008 so good. Opposition teams have the task of pressuring our great disposers to butchering the ball, while we have to make sure we don’t allow them to do that.

Equally, that’s what makes honest footballers like Daniel Jackson, Luke McGuane, Matt White and Jake King so important to our structures. They won’t have the best D.E. ratio, but their pressure on the ball is relentless. It gives our best players first crack and encourages the opposition to cough it up. Daniel Jackson’s my player of the week. Simply because of the outstanding job he did on Hamish Hartlett. Allowing such a good player to only acquire 10 touches at 40% is unbelievable. It’s one of the reasons why we won.

Daniel Jackson’s probably leading the B&F count right now. He’s been huge for us this year. Well done Jacko!

Follow me on Twitter @conmjj

Email me at for any questions. Thanks guys, go tiges!