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Tigers’ best still good sufficient: Hardwick

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick maintains the Tigers’ AFL best is good enough despite another a third frustrating result in as many weeks.

The Tigers played out the first draw of the AFL season on Friday night, locking up with Fremantle on 7.10 (52) apiece at Marvel Stadium.

It follows an after-the-siren defeat to Gold Coast and losing to lowly North Melbourne during a frantic finish last week.

Against the Kangaroos, it was Jake Aarts playing when he was just 30m out from goal; this time young forward Noah Cumberland wheeled onto his left foot just as the siren sounded.

It was another blow to the Tigers’ top-eight hopes, and they could drop to as low as 10th by the end of the round.

“(Cumberland’s) disappointed, and the kid would be, but the fact of the matter is it’s a part of the whole equation,” Hardwick said.

“There’s a number of things we didn’t do that well and a number of things we did.

“We made some errors defensively and offensively that cost us goals the other way.

“It’s a mountain, there’s a summit out there and we don’t know which way it will take us.

“What we do know is that our best footy will challenge sides and if we just get it right at the right time.”

Tigers defender Ben Miller was subbed out midway through the final quarter, with various reports surfacing around the nature of what was wrong with him.

The medical substitute rule was brought in ahead of the 2021 season, with doctors supposed to determine the “player will be medically unfit to participate in any match for at least the next 12 days”.

“I think he had a calf, and was cramping significantly towards the end but I think he tightened up in his calf as well so he might be OK,” Hardwick said.

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