Daniel Rioli took another significant step in his transformation from small forward to small defender within Richmond’s line-up against Brisbane at Metricon Stadium last Friday night.
The triple premiership Tiger had 19 disposals, three clearances, three rebound-50s, seven intercepts and took four marks in the 20-point victory over the Lions, impressing coach Damien Hardwick with his performance.
“We think he’s really growing into the role nicely,” Hardwick said.
“He’s got some things in his game that he’ll learn, but the growth in him in a couple of weeks has been really significant from our point of view.
“Really pleased with how he went about his game . . .
“Those back three young Indigenous boys in “Nige” (Rhyan) Mansell and Sydney Stack (along with Rioli) I thought were really important late in the game.
“They won some crucial contests, some big tackles.
“We love what those boys are doing.
“If they continue to play the way they are, they’re going to be good long-term players for us in those positions.
“So, that’s really exciting for us moving forward.
“It’s something we didn’t have at the start of the year, but we’ve certainly found some players that can play that role. And they’ll only get better, I think, as the season progresses.”