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Martin injured as Tigers of old return

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16th July, 2021
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Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has downplayed injury concerns over superstar Dustin Martin and believes the Tigers will cause some “grief” if they make the AFL finals.

The Tigers of old returned on Friday, snapping a four-game losing streak to down Brisbane by 20 points in Jack Riewoldt’s 300th game.

After looking like a shell of their former glory in defeats to St Kilda, Gold Coast and Collingwood, Richmond’s system and spark was back.

But the win, which takes them to 8-9 and back inside the top eight, was soured slightly by Martin missing the final quarter.

The triple Norm Smith medallist came off second best in a big collision with Brisbane hard nut Mitch Robinson late in the third term, with Martin appearing to hurt his ribs.

Dustin Martin

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

While extremely sore, Martin told Hardwick he would be fine to back up for their next encounter against Geelong.

“He got a kick into the stomach so we sent him to hospital for precautionary reasons,” Hardwick said.

“Obviously we’re flying home so we just want to make sure he’s available to fly – a big drive for Dusty otherwise – but we’ll see how we go.

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“Straight away he said he’d been fine to play next week but we’ll just see what the doctor says and the scans show.”

Richmond will return Saturday buoyed by their performance against the Lions, who sit fourth and comfortably accounted for the Tigers earlier in the season.

The Tigers will likely need to win at least four of their remaining six games to be certain of playing finals.

“I think we’ve always had the confidence, we just haven’t played to the level that we’d like,” Hardwick said.

“Players (have been) coming in and out of the side so our consistency wasn’t there.

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“We’re going to get the vast majority back now, we think, so we’re really excited about that and what it does look for us moving forward.

“Hopefully we make the finals but I reckon if we get there we’re going to cause some grief so we’ll back ourselves in and see how we go.”

Utility Kamdyn McIntosh (hamstring) was a casualty against the Lions, but premiership ruckman Toby Nankervis made a powerful return from injury.

Veteran midfielder Shane Edwards could be a chance to return against the Cats next Saturday.

© AAP

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