Former Richmond coach Terry Wallace has questioned the Tigers’ game plan this season, saying they’ve strayed away from what has made them so great.
Richmond’s tenacity around the contest has made them one of the toughest and strongest teams in the AFL over the past two seasons, although they’ve failed to display the same pressure and tackling intensity over the first two rounds of 2019.
A number of key Tigers have some alarming numbers, and Wallace spoke on SEN on Tuesday afternoon and called them out on their poor starts.
“Their biggest issue is they’ve lost their DNA. What is their DNA? It was pressure and tackling,” Wallace told SEN Afternoons.
“I just went through some of the players in the side and some of the numbers, and I understand we’ve only got two weeks and Round 2 was a really weird game, but when you have a look at it, Dustin Martin has not laid a tackle in two weeks.
“Think about where he’s playing. He’s never been a tackle machine, but he’s playing exactly around the ball and he hasn’t laid one tackle as your key player.
“Nick Vlastuin, who I love as a player, no tackles Round 1 and one tackle Round 2.
“Daniel Rioli, his role is forward pressure, two tackles Round 1, one tackle last week.
“They bring Mav Weller to the club, two tackles Round 1, none in Round 2.
“Four players have had six tackles between them in two weeks, then they change up the side and bring in three blokes who add a bit more speed, you think they’ll be hungry.
“Brandon Ellis one tackle, Jason Castagna one tackle, Oleg Markov one tackle. I mean, they’ve lost their DNA.”
Despite losing Alex Rance to a season-ending ACL injury and Jack Riewoldt for four weeks with a hand problem, the Tigers are still one of the deepest teams in the league, but will need to showcase that talent against GWS this Saturday if they’re to avoid going below a 50% W-L record for the first time since the end of the 2016 season.