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VFLW Tigers fall to Hawks

VFLW R8: Highlights Highlights of the Round 8 match against Hawthorn.

The VFLW Tigers have faced an agonising four-point loss this afternoon, falling to Hawthorn in Round 8 at the Swinburne Centre.

With six changes from their last game, it was a significantly altered line up for the Tigers. Absent from the side were a number of key players including Emma King, Sophie Conway, Lauren Tesoriero and Christina Bernardi. 

But the Tigers proved their depth as they matched up to one of the most experienced teams in the league.

Richmond fought gallantly against the practiced Hawthorn outfit. While they couldn’t stage a fairytale comeback, they played to their strengths and embodied the Richmond brand of football.

It was a slow start to the game, an arm wrestle which resulted in no majors scored in the first term. While Richmond had possession for the majority of the opening quarter, they couldn’t capitalise on their efforts.

The Hawks broke clear in the second quarter as they rapidly piled on three consecutive goals. They increased their lead to 21 points, with Richmond yet to hit the scoreboard.

But the Tigers weren’t finished just yet.

Richmond’s intensity around the ball lifted and their defensive layers strengthened, giving Hawthorn restricted options when in possession. They dominated forward entry and attacked with flair.

Courtney Wakefield snagged Richmond’s first as she nailed a set shot. Soon after, Emma Gunn claimed one of her own as she goaled on the run. Then, Jacinta Louttit snapped her first in the yellow and black. By three-quarter time, the margin was narrowed to a mere 10 points.

In a gripping final few minutes, the Tigers bridged the gap to just four points, thanks to a monster goal from Kate Dixon. But while they held Hawthorn goalless for the entire second half, they had left their run too late.

Despite the loss, Coach Tom Hunter said it was pleasing to see each individual girl stick to their role.

“No matter who we put on the park, our process stands up to some really good opposition. So we’ll take away that we were very close to beating a very good side,” he said.

Hunter had a clear message to the girls at three quarter time; stay supported, stay together.

“At any stage, it didn’t look like we were disconnected from each other. We were celebrating the little wins when we were out there, we were supporting each other when it was tough. And that’s the side that we want to look like,” he said.

Hunter said the result was an opportunity for Richmond to showcase their development, after suffering a 82-point defeat to the Hawks during the practice rounds.

“We had about 10 girls that were playing in that game that played today. Their development and their growth as footballers since that practice game has just been fantastic. So it’s a real credit to the hard work that they’re putting in,” he said.

Ruckwoman Alice Edmonds was prolific for the Tigers. Her contest at stoppages and her movement around the ground were unrivalled.

“It’s very hard for anyone to touch the ball when she puts her hands up, so we’re really proud with how she’s growing and how she’s developing as a footballer,” Hunter said.

Gutsy midfielder Phoebe Monahan illustrated her stunning form once again as she topped Richmond for disposals, kicks and handballs. 

Richmond’s next challenge will be Essendon at Windy Hill, next Sunday July 8 at 11.30am, another double header with the VFL.