Hardwick sees Tigers of old in big AFL win

The Tigers celebrate their dramatic six-point win in the wet at the MCG over West Coast.
The Tigers celebrate their dramatic six-point win in the wet at the MCG over West Coast.

In a gripping MCG clash that felt every bit like an AFL final, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick caught a glimpse of the style of footy that took the Tigers all the way two years ago.

The Tigers are primed to secure a double-chance after downing West Coast by a goal in one of the games of the season.

Sunday's 13.10 (88) to 13.4 (82) thriller lifted the Tigers to fourth on the ladder ahead of another blockbuster clash with ladder-leaders Brisbane next week.

West Coast dominated early but, led by Dustin Martin, the Tigers clawed their way back and took charge once the rain began to fall.

Hardwick saw plenty of room for improvement but was pleased by his side's surge mentality.

"What I am happy with is it looks like a Richmond brand of footy," he said.

"Time in forward-half was significant for us, we managed to get the ball played predominantly from the territory game but just couldn't quite get the scoreboard dominance we were after. We left a couple of goals on the table.

"We're really happy to play those (top) sides at the back end of the year and give us every chance to see what our best footy looks like."

Hardwick noted that the Eagles' goals from stoppages had put the Tigers on the back foot early.

"I think they kicked five from their forward 50 which is catastrophic in nature, so we'll go to work on that," Hardwick said.

"We can't allow that to happen again."

The Tigers expect to regain skipper Trent Cotchin (hamstring) to face the Lions and are hopeful of also having Dylan Grimes available.

Grimes hurt his ankle in a third-quarter marking contest and was helped from the ground by trainers but returned to finish the game.

"It has blown up a little bit which is generally not a bad thing, if that makes sense," Hardwick said.

"He's a really important player to the way we play so we'll monitor him very heavily tomorrow."

Hardwick said first-year star Sydney Stack would have surgery after suffering an ankle syndesmosis injury in the VFL but was still a chance to play again this season.

Australian Associated Press