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VFL Tigers fall to Essendon

VFL coach Tim Clarke has identified his team’s slow start as a key reason for the side’s 44-point loss to Essendon on Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers were outscored six goals to one in the opening quarter, and struggled to reel in the deficit, despite improvement in the second term.

Richmond’s inability to control the ball inside forward 50 proved costly, and quashed the Tigers’ chances of a comeback.

“We couldn’t keep the ball inside our forward 50. Even though it felt like they were dominating we still had the same amount of inside 50s,” Clarke said after the match.

“They (Essendon) were just able to use the ball better and it really hurt us on the counter attack.”

Clarke also pinpointed the midfield as a main area where Richmond struggled to gain any ascendancy early on.

“Essendon got the ball out of the middle and our midfield really struggled to get going, which is unlike the players we had in there. So it was disappointing from that end that they got such a good start,” he said.

“We thought our strength would have been our midfield so we are really disappointed with that.”

Matt Arnot was the most influential player around the contest, gathering 22 touches, six clearances and six tackles.

Nick Wynne also put in a solid performance. He collected 26 possessions and took several strong contested marks at crucial moments.

After Dave Astbury was taken off with hamstring soreness, Todd Elton was entrusted with a position up forward. He managed two goals and took several strong marks.

Nathan Gordon (19 disposals) and Sam Lloyd (14 disposals) both looked lively in front of goal, having several scoring opportunities. But the duo only managed one goal each for their efforts.

Next week, the Tigers will venture out to Avalon to take on Werribee, who currently sit atop the VFL ladder.

Richmond         1.3     6.6    6.10    8.11.59
Essendon           6.2     9.4   11.9    15.13.103

Richmond: Elton 2, Lloyd 1, Mellington 1, Scott 1, Cachia 1, Gordon 1, Lennon 1
Collingwood: J Langford 3, Purcell 2, McKenna 2, Pears 2, K. Langford 2, Kavanagh 1, Hardingham 1

Richmond: Wynne, Arnot, Contin, Cachia, Dea, Gordon, Short
Essendon: Browne, O’Brien, Gwilt, Dalgleish, Coghlan, Kavanagh