The "gameplan". What was different against the Ds?

I’m so god dam sick of hearing that quote “playing the way we want to”
what happens in a final when you come up against a hard , defensive side and it’s a scrappy game? When we simply “can’t play the way we want to”

this is the test that this team faces. It’s great when we can play a slow team who can’t defend but against a team who sets up well defensively and tackles hard?

Good post. My thoughts:

  1. Zac Merrett’s comments blew me away a little when I read them over the weekend. So here’s Worsfold telling players they have to be self-driven and it’s all player led, etc. which implies the players must also be having a say on the game plan. Yet, that clearly wasn’t the case. No wonder the players have looked lacking in confidence and not believing in themselves as they are being asked to take responsibility for an outcome when having the method for achieving that outcome imposed on them. It doesn’t work in real world practice and it doesn’t work with football teams. I know, in my work, when I’m asked to accept responsibility for achieving an outcome it’s done my way or I don’t accept responsibility. The powers that be can’t have it both ways.

  2. I think part of the imposed gameplan was to not to be first to the ball but play the “Richmond way” of letting the opposition win the ball first and then pressure them; hence why players seem to be taking short steps to a contest and we got smashed in contested ball n the earlier rounds. It’s not a natural way to play for many players; certainly not hours. We still did it a little; especially Zac Merrett. At least I hope that’s why he still wouldn’t put his ody over the ball a few times, using stretched arms instead. We have a lot of players that are "see ball, get ball"type players like McKenna, Parish, McGrath. No coincidence they all played their best games for the year on Friday night.

  3. We definitely kept our forwards deeper. McKenna (who played mainly on the wing on Friday night) and the other mids always had a forward to kick going forward. Thanks to Melbourne’s woeful defensive zone our forwards were also often in space on their own.

  4. We were much better defensively than the scoreboard indicated. Melbourne’s 18.4 was freakish but is only 22 scoring shots. that is less scoring shots than the Saints last week (26) and the Giants the week before (32). All done with a player down nearly game and 3 players down for most of Q2.


Melbourne weren’t allowed (6 6 6 rule) to have their usual 2 spare defenders at every bounce. Big difference.

St kilda , gc, brisbane are some of the teams who over summer seem to have the whole side setting up better than us already.

Why are their players able to do it ?

Maybe someone should tell merrett “his way and the players way” hasnt been much chop at this xlub for some time , and maybe they should apply themselves better in any adaptation of how the coaches want you to play , so at the very least if plan 1 isnt working, you have multiple ways to falls back on.

Nothing different. We just played a team that’s currently the worst in the comp.

My friend reckons that the new 6-6-6 rule is destroying melbourne and Richmond thoughts?

Someone needs to do the side by side comparisons between how we were setting up in rounds 1 & 2 compared to the Melbourne game.

I thought a big difference was we made space in our forward 50 and provided clear targets. Around the ground we were running with good overlap. Is it a game plan thing, or more about execution? I think it’s more about better execution. Better decision making, better skills/less fumbles. We handled the ball a hell of a lot better - do that and you look good.


Seems a bit harsh since one of the replacements only lasted 8 minutes into the game and didn’t get a touch.

1 Like

Can someone tell us what our game plan is? 10 dot points will be a good start. If we’ve observed that its changed then we must know what it is.

Everyone was saying Melbourne and Collingwood would be the overt winners (having dominant rucks/inside mids)… but Melbourne and Casey have had horror starts.

Can’t remember the Dees numbers, but an preseason article suggested the Crows and Tigers would be the most disrupted in terms of how often they set up with extra numbers behind the ball.

1 Like

Unfortunately I received some news overnight that is disturbing to say the least. You’ll know I’m not a poster who claims inside knowledge but I believe the following.

Richardson bought in Rutten to overhaul our defence. Backline and all of ground. It was so radical and different that the players couldn’t grasp it.

The players are tight and not fractured and trust the coaching group. Unfortunately the coaching group might be fractured and a robust meeting between them resulted in abandoning the Rutten introduced defensive plan. This meeting either occurred after the Cats loss or the Saints loss.

Either way, pre season and JLT was a complete lost opportunity and wasted on a radical change that hasn’t been implemented.

Coaching group appears very much split and I guess we’ll find out how much power Richardson has.

Might also explain Zach’s choice of words.



Didn’t a similar thing happen with Neeld last year?


Good write up BWAS. I believe the info I posted above and that the players have been totally confused by the chop and change. It’s diabolical from a professional football club.

Fortunately, as I say, the players are tight, which is great and a credit to them. I agree that our forwards absolutely must remain a target and be present when we go forward. I’m not across Rutten’s defensive plan but clearly it is necessary that we learn to defend better. Perhaps Rutten’s plan with Rance, Grimes, Vlastuin and Astbury worked and we aren’t capable of it. Certainly we weren’t capable of understanding it.

1 Like

Yep, extremely unprofessional. I feel for the playing group.

1 Like

If its true and the revival between round 2 and 3 was attributable to the players leading the team by playing the way they want to play, that is the sign of a great team, according to Worsfolds espoused criteria.

But we know that the total run and gun way we “want to play” to “make footy fun again” puts defending lower down the scale and tbh, that is not the sign of a great team.

But, the implementation game plan was changed, and we did improve because of it. We replaced 2 slow big bodies with 1 slow big body and another fast mid. That extra fast mid was Zaharakis, who gained 7 clearances. Honestly I did not know he had it in him. It was fortuitous that Myers was sick, which forced Hepp off the wing and into the middle.

We were able to match the Dees pressure on the ball, but for me, they looked slow. They might be one of the best contested ball winning teams in the comp, but gee, they lack leg speed. At one point in the third they looked buggered only half way through the quarter. Melbourne are just not there with their form. I think Brisbane will provide a tougher test, they are dedicated on getting stuck in but have the speed and talent to match.

i think it was as simple as that, everyone was going in hard putting in second efforts putting on a ton of pressure. i mean even zaka was going in hard, remember we were a man down from the 1st quarter. i was sitting right next to interchange and players where being told to just stay on the ground.


We probably need to re-introduce the Rutten defensive strategies incrementally, rather than make it a coup d’ etat in one hit.

In the end , to become a great team we need to improve our defence right across the ground whilst maintaining the foot speed and ball movement that is our brand.

Richmond would no doubt still be playing the Rutten defensive facet of their game plan, but their game plan depended on a couple of key players, Take them away and now Richmond is 1 and 2

It may be that Ruttens strategies are fragile and not easily "translated " to other playing groups. In that case it needs to be adapted to us and modified to suit us,


Absolutely agree Chris.