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Eye of the Tigers on hope, not history

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Richmond will confront two damning streaks in their AFL qualifying final against Geelong.

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The only black mark more glaring for the Tigers than their woeful record against the Cats is the lack of a finals win.

Richmond have won only one game against Geelong of the past 21.

They have won six of their past seven games this season, capped by yesterday’s 41-point success against St Kilda.

The only slip-up was the round 21 loss to the Cats in Geelong.

The Tigers have not won a match in September since they reached the 2001 preliminary final.

Then came 12 years outside the top eight.

Under Hardwick, they lost three-straight elimination finals before last year’s plummet out of the top eight.

Hardwick said yesterday they are ready to beat Geelong and end their finals drought.

“The distraction is going to be, the media noise and all this sort of stuff,” he said of their poor record against Geelong.

“We haven’t got a good record (with) Geelong, we accept that, but we also know if we play our best we’re capable of beating anyone.”

Hardwick was asked what gave him confidence that this year the Tigers can win a final.

“This side’s been through a fair bit, I reckon, this year,” he said.

“They’re really filled with grit, resilience, perseverance – all those character traits you look for.

“We’ve had to find different ways to win, we’ve lost close games, people have always said we’re too small, we’re not big enough.

“A lot of people probably look at us and think we’re not capable.”

Hardwick added that much of the credit for their resurgence to the top four this season must go to the players.

“Under Trent (captain Trent Cotchin) and his leadership group, they keep coming back and they keep fighting and they keep winning,” Hardwick said.

“I’d love to say I’ve put in an incredible coaching performance, but the reality is they wind themselves up and off they go.”

-AAP 

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