Main content

Morris like the Tiger of old

Round 9: Hardwick post-match Damien Hardwick speaks to the media after the Round 9 win over Fremantle.
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 21: Steven Morris of the Tigers looks to pass the ball during the 2016 AFL Round 09 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Richmond Tigers at Domain Stadium on May 21, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Media)
Steven Morris in action against Fremantle last Saturday night.

Tough-as-teak Richmond small defender Steven Morris has dug deep, in trademark style, to re-establish himself as an important member of the Tigers’ senior side.

Following a frustrating 2015 season, where he was tried as a defensive forward, before returning to the backline, and a slow start to this year, Morris is looking much more like the player that had such an impact at Tigerland throughout the early phase of his AFL career.

Morris, recruited by Richmond as a mature-age recruit at the end of 2011, initially won rave reviews at league level for his fierce attack on the football, inspirational courage, and exemplary work ethic.

But after playing out the entire 2014 season with a severe shoulder injury that subsequently required reconstructive surgery, and then a loss of form in 2015, Morris entered this year fully aware of the challenge he faced to resurrect his league career.

When he was omitted from the Tigers’ team, following the opening round win against Carlton this season, his prospects for the remainder of this season seemed a bit bleak.

True to form, however, Morris worked feverishly at VFL level to regain his place in the senior line-up for the Round 5 Anzac eve clash with Melbourne, and he has since gone from strength to strength.

The ultra-determined 27-year-old was one of Richmond’s best performers in last Saturday night’s 38-point victory over Fremantle at Domain Stadium.

He finished with 19 disposals, which was the equal highest he’d had in a match since the final home-and-away round of his 2012 debut season for the Tigers, against Port Adelaide at the MCG, when he picked up 20.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was full of praise for Morris in his post-game press conference.

“He’s been outstanding for us.  He’s a warrior . . . His last three weeks have been brilliant,” Hardwick said.

“He’s playing as good a footy as he’s played at our footy club, I think. 

“I’m really proud of the way he’s fought back because, in theory, his career was probably at the crossroads at some stage last year. 

“But to his credit, the type of character he is, he’s stepped forward, and is playing some great footy for us at the minute.”

Courage from Morris: Steven Morris cops one high going with the flight of the footy and kicks a goal.