Richmond beating Richmond in AFL: Hardwick

Damien Hardwick has told his players they don't have the luxury to build slowly like previous years.
Damien Hardwick has told his players they don't have the luxury to build slowly like previous years.

Damien Hardwick says Richmond are beating Richmond at the moment and the Tigers need to find their premiership mojo quickly if they are to get their AFL season moving in the right direction.

The reigning premiers are 14th with one win and a draw going into Sunday's clash against Melbourne at the MCG and Hardwick concedes his side doesn't have time to gradually build up to top form.

"Richmond are beating Richmond at the moment ... that's the way that we went through it with our players," Hardwick told reporters on Friday.

"Probably structurally we're not playing the way (we want to) and the ground isn't looking the way that we need it to look.

"If we get that part of our game right then the players will bring their strengths within that system.

"It's been a slow burn for us normally throughout as a season progresses but this is a different season.

"We haven't got the games to catch up and we need to be playing some better footy now."

Dustin Martin wasn't at his best in his return from a rib injury in last week's loss to St Kilda and Hardwick revealed the superstar midfielder is still working back to full fitness.

"He was better last week and he'll be better again this week," the coach said.

"He's had a good couple of sessions on the track and we expect him to fire fully this week.

"He's probably reflective of the side ... if we're not executing how we play as a team Dustin's (form) is going to suffer as a result as will a lot of our players.

"We expect that to be better."

Sunday's clash will be the club's last appearance in Melbourne for a while after the AFL announced Richmond would depart for a quarantine hub on the Gold Coast from round six.

At the selection table, Daniel Rioli, Mabior Chol, Noah Balta and Jake Aarts, who will debut, have been included.

David Astbury is out injured, while Jack Ross, Shai Bolton and Sydney Stack were dropped.

Australian Associated Press