Sport

Best yet to come from Tigers, warns Cotchin

Trent Cotchin of the Tigers under pressure from Joel Selwood of the Cats.
Trent Cotchin of the Tigers under pressure from Joel Selwood of the Cats. JULIAN SMITH

RICHMOND captain Trent Cotchin has warned the Tigers can still take "bigger steps forward" as he encouraged his teammates to keep embracing the hype ahead of their preliminary final next week.

After last week's stunning qualifying final win over Geelong, Cotchin said the Tigers were enjoying a "pretty normal" week on the track as they wait to find out who their next finals date will be.

Richmond surged into its first preliminary final since 2001 with a 51-point demolition of the Cats at the MCG last week, but Cotchin said the Tigers had already reviewed areas they could sharpen as they chase a drought-breaking grand final berth.

"You always review games and see there are areas where you think you can improve on," Cotchin said.

"It's different with different oppositions and the way that they play the game, but we are really confident that we know what works for us.

"But there is definitely areas of the game that we can take bigger steps forward in."

The Tiger army was out in force for their first-week finals win and the club's supporter base is relishing their rise to premiership challenger this year.

Cotchin said the players had no choice but to embrace the hype.

"I think 'Dimma' (coach Damien Hardwick) has spoken about it in the media and a number of our players have, you have got to embrace it," Cotchin said.

"I think in the past we have probably shied away from it, but the reality is it's there, so you've just got to embrace it while it is there and then when we get into work and start training we just focus on what know we can do."

 

Tigers players (from left) Kane Lambert, Toby Nankervis, Nathan Broad, Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin, David Astbury and Brandon Ellis celebrate after winning the second qualifying final against the Cats.
Tigers players (from left) Kane Lambert, Toby Nankervis, Nathan Broad, Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin, David Astbury and Brandon Ellis celebrate after winning the second qualifying final against the Cats. JULIAN SMITH

The Tigers will play the winner of Saturday night's semi-final between Greater Western Sydney and West Coast, but Cotchin did not have a preference for which team the Tigers faced.

"I think it is going to be a really interesting match. It's hard to say, both teams are really talented, one probably a bit more senior but the other has a number of top draft picks as well that when they play their best footy they are a hard team to beat," Cotchin said.

"I think it will be really close. I've got no idea to be honest, probably GWS (win) but you never know with some of the senior players that are potentially playing their last game of senior footy at West Coast.

"Every game is a challenging one and different teams have different strengths and you've just got to prepare as best as you possibly can."

Cotchin was one of the stars of the Tigers' qualifying final win, casting aside past individual finals showings, but said he had only ever been motivated by team performance.

"The reality is you are only as good as your next game anyway," Cotchin said.

"So to look back on previous years and be disappointed with your own performance individually, but the thing that I was most shattered about was the performances as a team you want to progress through finals and we have not done that in the past, or in my career.

"This year we had an opportunity where we did, but again we have another challenge in a week-and-a-half's time that we all need to be at our best to give the club the opportunity to go through to a grand final."

Topics:  afl finals richmond tigers trent cotchin

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