RICHMOND forward Jack Riewoldt said he didn't believe North Melbourne's decision to rest half its side the week before the final was a factor in Sunday's second-half fadeout.
After trailing by 13 points at half-time, the Kangaroos kicked 9.7 to 5.1 after the main break to run out seven-point winners.
"We had a nine-day break from Friday to Sunday, we play off shorter breaks than that during the season - that was certainly no factor in it whatsoever," Riewoldt said.
"If you're 5% off your game, you can get beaten by anyone and we clearly didn't play up to the standard we wanted to."
The former Coleman Medallist also defended coach Damian Hardwick following Richmond's third consecutive elimination final loss.
"I couldn't think of a better bloke to be playing footy for at the moment," Riewoldt said, acknowledging Hardwick had given the players a serious dressing down after the match.
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