“Relief” for Tigers after Giant challenge

ALTHOUGH it may have been a tough task at times, Richmond Tigers AFLW coach Ryan Ferguson said his side was grateful to leave Blacktown with a win over the Giants.

“There was all sorts going on,” he said. “Obviously for both teams the conditions were hot, windy and there were snakes on the field. Our players’ ability to adjust to that to do what they needed to and stay in the right frame of mind was a really pleasing result, bouncing back from last week.”

The Tigers kicked the final four goals of the game to storm past the Giants, after the game was delayed due to a snake being on the playing surface. Richmond looked to be in control of the match, before Alyce Parker put the team on her back to bring GWS back into the contest, but the Tigers were too strong to close out the game en route to a 19-point win.

“I thought we were really assertive for the first three quarters,” Ferguson said. “There was definite arm-wrestle, I’m not saying we dominated, but I thought the game played out we wanted it to. We knew we were going to have to work for it, but we thought at some point we would outrun and outwork them.

“Obviously the script flipped in the third quarter and it was ‘batten down the hatches’ for a bit there because they were about to take the game right away from us. It was disappointing because when you give them a chance they’re aggressive and run through the corridor and overlap run.

“We allowed them to do that and it was a pretty stern challenge at three-quarter time to get the game back on our terms.”

The game was not without injuries, with both the Tigers and Giants suffering blows to key personnel. From a Richmond perspective, Jess Hosking suffered an ankle injury, with Ferguson unsure of the extent.

“Obviously for her to come off the ground early in the match, we’re worried about it,” he said. “It hurt to miss her.”

Ferguson said the team is looking to continue growth each week, and is not where they could be in terms of forward dynamic.

GWS suffered a massive blow, with Parker leaving the match with a knee injury. The star had to be helped from the field late in the contest, and the Giants say she will be assessed during the week.

Giants coach Cameron Bernasconi said the Giants remained positive about the direction of the team despite a tough start to the season.

“We just had a really good chat in the rooms,” he said. “Really disappointed with the loss, but we can really see the improvement in our game.

“The system that we are trying to play, it is stacking up against the best and its doing it for a while. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to ride the momentum enough when we’ve had it and when we’ve lost it we’ve been hurt a couple of times.

“There’s some real positives in our game at the moment, but unfortunately we haven’t closed out a game where we’ve got that win. The group is really positive and they can see where we’re going and what we’re trying to do.

“All we’re trying to do is get better and better each week, and click with a four quarter performance. Hopefully that’s in seven days in Canberra.”

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