RICHMOND finished one spot lower on the ladder this season than it did last year, but its improvement was unmistakable.

There are still things that need work, and the mounting injury toll did hurt, but the potential of the Tigers was on show in 2022.

06:23 Mins
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Ferguson's AFLW season wrap

Richmond AFLW senior coach, Ryan Ferguson, provides a summary of the 2022 AFLW season and beyond.

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Coach: Ryan Ferguson

Leadership group: Katie Brennan (captain), Harriet Cordner, Sarah Hosking (Monique Conti captained in round 10 in the trio's absence)

2022 home and away finishing position: 11th, three wins and seven losses, 81.3 per cent.

Best team performance: Richmond 7.4 (46) defeated GWS 6.2 (38). Round nine marked the first time in nearly three seasons Richmond beat an inaugural club. The Tigers kicked five goals in the first quarter to set up the win, holding off a fast-finishing Giants side to record their third victory for the season.

Best individual performance: Monique Conti surely wrapped up the first three-vote effort of the year in the season-opener against St Kilda. The Tigers star recorded 29 disposals, 17 contested possessions, nine clearances and seven tackles in an outstanding match.

NAB AFLW Rising Star nominations: Nil

Debutants: Meagan Kiely, Meg Macdonald, Stella Reid, Emelia Yassir (AFLW debuts), Jess Hosking, Poppy Kelly, Beth Lynch, Maddie Shevlin (club debuts)

Retirees: Yet to be announced

Delistings: Yet to be announced

Most improved: Key defender Bec Miller would have been planning on working in tandem with Harriet Cordner, but when the latter tore her ACL in round two, Miller became virtually the sole tall back. She rose to the occasion beautifully, showing good composure and a strong set of hands. 

Star recruit: Draftee Emelia Yassir was precisely what Richmond needed, a small pressure forward with the ability to push further up the ground if required. She added a different dimension to the attack, working well with Brennan, Christina Bernardi, Courtney Wakefield and Tayla Stahl. 

Unsung hero: She does receive some recognition, but Tessa Lavey's extraordinary season saw her simultaneously playing WNBL and AFLW, captaining Bendigo and playing a crucial wing role for Richmond. Her importance to the Tigers' structure was laid bare when she would miss matches for basketball. 

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AFLW R2: Tessa kicks her first goal

A quick centre clearance from Conti leads Lavey to kick her first AFLW goal in the first minute of the match.

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What worked:

  • Richmond's attack was one of the most efficient in the competition once the ball was inside 50. The team was able to play with pace, isolating forwards and subsequently hitting the scoreboard at a much better rate than last year.

What needs improvement:

  • The flip side of Richmond's frenetic attack was it was often caught out of position on the rebound. The Tigers conceded the third-most points, ahead of only West Coast and Gold Coast.

  • Part of the issue was a lack of clean disposal out of defensive 50. Errors by foot were often made, making life difficult for players further afield. Injuries meant Sarah D'Arcy – usually a conduit out of defence – had to play a lockdown role, and was shifted out of her rebound position.

Early call for next season: Greater consistency across the season and tightening up defence should be the goal, and then more wins will come.