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AFL News: Huge triple blow for Tigers, former greats slam Lions' Vegas story, Saint cops ban

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1st April, 2024
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Richmond forward Tom Lynch is set to miss a huge chunk of the AFL season after suffering a significant hamstring injury in Sunday’s five-point win over Sydney.

And the bad news keeps coming for the banged-up Tigers, with Noah Balta expected to miss three to five weeks with a knee injury.

Lynch, who was restricted to just four games last year because of a foot complaint, is likely to need surgery after injuring the tendon behind his left knee late in the win over Sydney.

The 31-year-old planted his leg awkwardly following contact in a marking contest. He felt immediate discomfort and took himself from the field.

Richmond are yet to put a timeline on his return, but say it’s a “longer-term” injury.

“It is rotten luck for Tom, who worked extremely diligently to prepare his body for the season after what was a tough season for him last year,” Richmond’s football performance manager Tim Livingstone said in a statement.

“Unfortunately for Tom, he landed in a motion that has caused this injury.


“He will consult a surgeon in the coming days, which will give us a clearer picture of the injuries timeline, but we are expecting he will be out for the longer term.”

Balta felt discomfort in the final seconds of the match, with subsequent scans showing a “moderate” medial collateral ligament injury.

The 24-year-old had made a bright start to the season in his new role in attack.

“In one of the last contests of the game, Noah unfortunately hurt his knee, and scans have confirmed some damage to his MCL,” Livingstone said.

“We will assess him further this week, but we do not expect him to play before the bye.”

The Tigers are still without the likes of Jacob Hopper (knee, three to five weeks), Dion Prestia (hamstring, seven weeks) and Josh Gibcus (knee, season).

Lynch kicked three goals against Sydney, and his extended loss is a huge blow to Richmond’s hopes of making the finals under first-year coach Adem Yze.


Compounding the double injury blow is a one-match suspension for tough nut Liam Baker for a high hit on Swan Lewis Melican.

Baker left the ground and collected the Swans defender in the head during the second quarter; despite Melican playing out the game, the incident was graded as careless conduct, medium impact and high contact to trigger the one-match ban.

Richmond will be back in action on Sunday when they take on St Kilda in Gather Round.


‘Started on BigFooty’ – Greats slam ‘Lions in Vegas’ story

Former greats Leigh Montagna and Dale Thomas have dismissed Brisbane’s much-discussed off-season trip to Las Vegas as a nothing story.


After weeks of rumours, news officially broke following the Lions’ loss to Collingwood on Thursday night that the end-of-year holiday involving a small group of players had turned sour after one of them accidentally uploaded a WhatsApp chat discussing what the players had been up to, as well as several photographs, to iCloud, where they were seen by the player’s partner.

The incident had turbulent consequences, with at least one player’s relationship ending as a result, but the Lions were at pains to deny it is the reason behind the Lions’ horror 0-3 start to the season.

“If the question is, ‘Is there a split in a group?’ Well, no there isn’t,” Lions CEO Greg Swann told the Herald Sun.

“It’s just bulls–t. There’s no split in the group. This was in November, by the way. It’s not the reason we’re going no good.”

Speaking on Triple M, Montagna and Thomas, who have both transitioned into prominent media roles following retirement, were even more disparaging of the story.

“It’s absolute horseradish – they are not winning games of football because they’re three best forwards are not firing. It’s got nothing to do with what happened on a trip overseas,” Thomas said.

“I genuinely am getting to the point where it’s almost tabloid media what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to criticise players for having any sort of life, and when they do, they’re built up to be knocked down.”


Montagna appeared to be especially critical of 3AW journalist Sam McClure, who was the first to report on the story, claiming it originated on online football forum BigFooty.

“You know it’s horseradish when this story started on BigFooty,” Montagna said.

“It was on the BigFooty forum, it was on social media – this is where the journo that’s picked up the story has found it, on social media doing the rounds. That probably sums up the type of story that it is.”

The Lions reportedly held talks with club leaders on Good Friday to discuss the fallout from the end-of-season trip, but captains Lachie Neale and Harris Andrews, who weren’t part of the holiday, have denied it has caused any rifts in the playing group.

The Lions face North Melbourne at Norwood Oval in Adelaide as part of Gather Round next weekend, and are heavy favourites to at last secure their first win of the season.

Joe Daniher looks dejected.

Joe Daniher. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)


Saint cops one-game ban for high bump

St Kilda youngster Marcus Windhager has been offered a one-game suspension for a high bump on Essendon’s Sam Durham.

Windhager will miss the Saints’ Gather Round match against Richmond unless the club successfully challenges the rough conduct charge at the tribunal.

The 20-year-old collected Durham high during the second quarter of Essendon’s four-point win at Marvel Stadium on Saturday. The match review officer graded the incident as careless, medium impact and high contact.

Durham was concussed in the incident and is subject to 12-day protocols.

The Bombers initially believed Durham had injured his shoulder, but later confirmed concussion.


Windhager’s penalty comes a week after star forward Max King was suspended for a bump against Collingwood, crucially ruling him out of taking on the Bombers.

St Kilda also lost Mason Wood (collarbone) and Liam Henry (hamstring) during the match against the Magpies, and their depth is now set to be tested further.


Bombers young gun looses tooth in VFL collision

Essendon top draft pick Nate Caddy was forced out of the Bombers’ VFL clash with Sandringham after having a tooth knocked out in a first-quarter incident.

The 18-year old, who was taken with pick 10 in the 2023 national draft, left the field with a bloody mouth after a marking contest that saw his head collide with the back of teammate Sam Weideman’s head.


Vision from broadcaster Channel 7 showed Caddy’s tooth visibly fall, with a Bombers trainer recovering it shortly after and placing it in a glass of milk to preserve it, according to a report by 7.

Caddy was sent to hospital and took no further part in the game, while Weideman was bandaged up after suffering a cut to the head in the collision.

The youngster, who is yet to make his AFL debut, posted a picture to Instagram of his mouth sans tooth on Sunday evening, captioning it ‘Toofwess’.

Beveridge lauds western suburbs icon and youth worker Twentyman

Luke Beveridge was close to tears as he paid tribute to youth worker and passionate Western Bulldogs fan Les Twentyman, following their big AFL win over West Coast.

The Bulldogs coach and his players wore black armbands on Sunday at Marvel Stadium in honour of Twentyman, who died last week.


An emotional Beveridge said Twentyman’s example was a theme as they cruised to a 76-point win over the hapless Eagles, 16.10 (106) to 3.12 (30).

It equalled West Coast’s sixth-lowest score, and last year’s wooden spooners have now lost all 12 quarters so far this season.

The game had extra meaning for Beveridge, who said he received a video from Twentyman as recently as a few days ago.

“We did talk about that today as a group, as a team and as a club – the enabling of other people to do good, and that can really manifest in your own team,” Beveridge said.

“(It can) have a significant impact on how formidable you can be. We did look for some inspiration from Les’s life.

“He was always one of those people who thought that just a little thing can snowball into a really big thing, reach critical mass.

“I admire him greatly for that. We’ve lost a great person.”


After an even first quarter, with two goals apiece, the Bulldogs went on an 11-goal spree and the Eagles did not kick their third major until midway through the final term.

Beveridge noted a big win could cloud their thinking, but one fact was undeniable ahead of next Saturday night’s big game against Geelong.

“What we talked about was the fact that at three-quarter time, West Coast were 19 points,” he said.

“We had to work hard defensively … (it was) where it needed to be, so we liked that aspect. That’s probably the highlight for us, not necessarily kicking 100 points.

“It’s a tiny bit of momentum, but we have a tough task ahead of us in Adelaide against the Cats.”

Tempers flared late in the game when Eagles youngster Reuben Ginbey collected Jack Macrae with a bump.


While Sam Darcy benefited from the 50m penalty and kicked a goal, Eagles player Jamaine Jones then cannoned into Adam Treloar as the Bulldogs onballer remonstrated with Ginbey.

The scuffle is certain to attract video scrutiny.

Treloar and fellow midfielder Tom Liberatore shone, while captain Marcus Bontempelli had a quieter influence than usual, but still kicked three goals and laid eight tackles.

Macrae made a low-key but successful return after considerable discussion about his absence from the Bulldogs’ line-up for the first two rounds.

Eagles star Jeremy McGovern again showed why he is one of the AFL’s top defenders, racking up a game-high 11 marks.

Inside-50s were 51 apiece, but West Coast coach Adam Simpson bemoaned another poor game where his team was outmatched around the ground.


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The Bulldogs had 421 disposals to West Coast’s 309, a massive disparity.

“Obviously the scoreboard speaks for itself … (it’s) a fair concern. There are small wins there, but we need to get better at converting,” Simpson said.

“Obviously we’re in a build, it’s going to take time and we look at some positives, but we have to be better than that.”