With the third-fewest points conceded in the competition during the home and away season – only less than a point per game more than eventual premier Hawthorn - and the club’s lowest average points against tally since 1967, plenty went right for Richmond’s defence in 2015.
Speaking to Roar Vision on Thursday, defenders coach Ben Rutten said while he was pleased with the defensive effort last year, this pre-season has been all about trying to stick to those principles on a more regular basis.
“It’s just about our consistency,” Rutten said about the defensive approach this pre-season.
“(Defence) is a foundation of the way we play and we’re not necessarily adding anything too much new to the way we play, it’s just about getting guys to be able to do it for longer and hopefully get some of our younger guys to be able to put some pressure on some of our senior players.”
With David Astbury, Steve Morris and Todd Elton all getting some game time in defence last season, and the off-season arrivals of Nathan Broad and Chris Yarran, Rutten believes that competition for spots in the back half this year will be another vital element of the team improving.
“We’ve had a really strong pre-season from a big group of our defenders, so there’s definitely some pressure on,” he said.
“We’ve got some experienced guys back there, but we’re going to pick guys who are playing well and in form and play the way we want to play.”