MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 14: Tigers head coach Damien Hardwick walks off at quarter time during the round 17 AFL between the Richmond Tigers and the Greater Wester Giants at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 14, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick believes his club is better suited for an assault on the premiership this year compared to 2018.

Last year, the Tigers finished two games clear at the top of the AFL ladder at the end of the home-and-away season, although fell to Collingwood in the preliminary final.

Hardwick believes his side peaked too early last season, although doesn’t think that’s the case this time around.

“I think we probably played too well, too early last year, if that makes sense,” Hardwick said on Fox Footy’s AFL 360 on Monday night.

“As we said, we scraped home with a couple of wins — we probably should have lost a couple of games — I think the Bulldogs and I think the Cats … probably should have beaten us too I think from memory, Gary (Ablett) had that shot late.

“And we probably would have been good to get a kick up the backside at some stage.”

Richmond has had an up-and-down 2019 campaign, falling outside the eight during the middle of the season, before bouncing back up into the top four after winning their past seven games.

“But this year I feel we’re better placed, I think we’re playing a better brand of footy,” he said.

“What we would say is we’re playing a better brand of footy, I think our guys are better placed this time of year but that doesn’t necessarily correspond to you winning the flag.

“But all we’ve got to worry about is West Coast this week, just try and get that over the line and then we’ll take whatever comes in front of us from there.”

The Tigers brought Tom Lynch to the club over the off-season, and the former Gold Coast captain has impressed at Punt Road, booting 50 goals from 20 games.