Coaches left shamed of tamed Tigers, Lions

POOR 'Dimma' and 'Leppa'. They would have been on top of the footy world as senior coach and assistant coach, respectively, when Richmond finished the home and away rounds in fifth place last year with a 15-7 win-loss record.

Nine months on, having put his hand up for the top job with his old side Brisbane, Justin Leppitsch has been left demoralised as he tries clear away the rubble and piece together a rebuild, brick by brick, that will stand up under the immense pressure of AFL footy.

Likewise, Damien Hardwick has been left shattered after watching the seemingly solid structure he had spent five years building at Richmond come crashing down.

The confident, skilled and quick-moving Tigers outfit of 2013 has been replaced by an insecure, sloppy and slow one that now sits 16th with just two wins - and almost certainly no hope of taking part in a second straight finals series for the first time since the late great Tom Hafey was at the helm in 1975.

It's a small stat, but highlighting their inability to take the game on, the Tigers are ranked 15th for bounces per game (6.5) after being fourth (14.2) in 2013.

Not helped by an inaccurate 9.20 on Saturday against Melbourne, scoring is also down, from 99 points a game to just 80.

It must have added a little salt to wounds of Tiger fans to see Matthew Pavlich (601 career goals) and Lance Franklin (599 goals) enjoy big weekends.

The Tigers, you'll remember, overlooked both players - Pavlich for Aaron Fiora, and Franklin for Richard Tambling - in the drafts of 1999 and 2004.

Far better was expected from Richmond's players against the Demons, with their season on the line and an emotional pre-match tribute to four-time premiership coach Hafey to inspire them.

A dejected Hardwick said after the match: "To dish up that kind of performance was really disappointing. Credit to them (the Demons), they turned up to play and we didn't." But, as the man in charge, Hardwick will cop most of the heat for not getting his players 'up'.

Richmond has had 15 senior coaches since Hafey's last year there in 1976, with the job too much for Kevin Bartlett, Allan Jeans, Robert Walls, Jeff Gieshen, Danny Frawley and Terry Wallace, among others.

Hardwick is contracted until the end of 2016, but will he last that long? If they're not already, that long-frustrated Tiger 'faithful' will be calling for his head if they can't beat GWS next week.

Talk about a must-win game.

The last-placed Lions, meanwhile, will have a week's break to lick their substantial wounds.

They had just eight scoring shots at Etihad Stadium on Saturday to the Kangaroos' 40. But most significantly, the undermanned visitors had 15 players who had appeared in less than 50 games.

Tom Rockliff and Joel Patfull were late withdrawals with a bug and only added to a sick and sorry Lions injury list.

Leppitsch though was more critical of the desire missing from the players who were out there: "The footy gods are going to do these things to you at times and you've got to keep persisting. We didn't do that."

After its bye, Brisbane plays Carlton (home), the Bulldogs (away), and GWS (home) in a period that could determine whether or not it should start planning who to select with the coveted No.1 pick in the national draft - one who will become a real pillar in Leppitsch's extensive and pain-staking rebuild.