Eagles look to stem rejuvenated Tigers
Brett Deledio is always a danger for Richmond, says Adam Simpson. Pic: Getty Images

West Coast coach Adam Simpson has warned that Richmond have their "mojo" back and the Eagles face a difficult task in avoiding a repeat of the 41-point thrashing the Tigers handed them at Patersons Stadium last season.

Flagged as top-four contenders at the start of the season after a breakthrough finals appearance last year, the Tigers fell to a 3-10 record to eliminate themselves from finals contention.

But they have won their past three games in a belated attempt to salvage something from a season of missed opportunity.

Two of the wins, against St Kilda and Brisbane, were predictable, but a 20-point victory over Port Adelaide in their last match suggested the Tigers were again a force to be reckoned with.

Even before the trio of wins, the Tigers had put in competitive performances in losses to Fremantle and Sydney that suggested their campaign was starting to turn.

"I think they have got their mojo back," Simpson said. "The last five weeks, regardless of whether they won or lost, their numbers have been really high in everything, contested ball, clear-ances, scores from stoppages.

"All the things that made them such a good team last year are back so they are in a really good space and they did a number on us last year over here so it is going to be a difficult game."

Gun midfielders Trent Cotchin, Brett Deledio and Dustin Martin played prominent roles in that match.

Simpson said they represented real danger again and did not rule out giving Mark Hutchings a tagging role on one of them.

"At the moment Martin is doing a lot of damage forward of the ball. So is Cotchin," he said.

"His last month he has progressed from being a centre-back type of midfielder to a guy that can go forward and kick multiple goals, so he is really dangerous.

"Deledio is always dangerous as well if you let him off the hook. You can't tag them all. We are going to have to back in our mids at some stage."

Simpson said he was very pleased with the job Hutchings had done on Brisbane's Pearce Hanley a fortnight ago.

"It is the first time he has ever done it so another new thing for us. He responded really well," Simpson said.

"I think Hanley had seven possessions in the second half. That was a win for us and he kicked the winning goal as well.

"It is not to say it will be him but at some stage we will do it."

Simpson said the Eagles needed to be on guard for a fast Richmond start.

"They start really well and time in possession is a big thing for them," he said. "We know they like to control the ball."

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

Follow Us

More from The West