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A positive step for Vickery

Round 5: Hardwick post-match Damien Hardwick speaks to the media after the Round 5 match against Geelong.
Ty Vickery of the Tigers attempts a kick at goal during the 2015 AFL Round 05 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at the MCG, Melbourne on May 02, 2015. (Photo: Justine Walker/AFL Media)
Ty Vickery of the Tigers attempts a kick at goal during the 2015 AFL Round 05 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at the MCG, Melbourne on May 02, 2015. (Photo: Justine Walker/AFL Media)

Damien Hardwick has reaffirmed Ty Vickery's position in Richmond's best 22 and will consider pairing the forward with returning tall Ben Griffiths as soon as next week against North Melbourne.

Vickery played his first game of the season – and since round 18 last year – on Saturday against Geelong, with Griffiths out with a calf injury.

Despite Vickery only kicking 1.1 in the Tigers' nine-point loss, coach Damien Hardwick praised the forward’s competitiveness and aggression.

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With Griffiths a chance to play next Saturday against the Kangaroos, Hardwick may consider using the two of them in the same set up – alongside Jack Riewoldt - after trialling such a setup seven times last year, mainly when Ivan Maric was out injured.

"I'd like to [play them together]. I think Ty gives us a different look. 'Griffo' is more mobile and Ty we prefer to be that ‘stay at home [forward]’, he's agile at ground level also," Hardwick said after Saturday's loss.

"Ty looked really good on the lead today, he's aggressive, he's assertive and when he's playing confident footy that's when we see the best of Ty Vickery, and I think today was a good step forward.

"He can get better again though. He's a really important player to us.

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"I keep telling him and I know he realises how important he is to us - maybe it's too much pressure on him. He's best 22."

The Tigers were messy in front of goal, especially in the first quarter when they kicked just five behinds from 10 inside-50s, which was three more than the Cats had.

Hardwick rued the inaccuracy and wastefulness early on, which was also a feature of last week's loss to Melbourne.

Vickery had to overcome a simple dropped mark in the first quarter and a missed set shot early in the second to bring a level of competitiveness that pleased his coach.

"I thought he should have finished with four goals. He kicked one, he missed two and dropped a mark," Hardwick said.

"I thought he competed pretty well overall."