“I think we probably played too well, too early last year,” Hardwick told AFL 360.
“We scraped home with a couple of wins – we probably should have lost a couple of games – I think the Bulldogs and I think the Cats probably should have beaten us too, I think from memory, Gary [Ablett] had that shot late.
“And we probably would have been good to get a kick up the backside at some stage.
“But this year I feel we’re better placed, I think we’re playing a better brand of footy.
“I think our guys are better placed this time of year but that doesn’t necessarily correspond to you winning the flag.”
Richmond host premiers West Coast at the MCG on Sunday.