Hardwick rapt with Dusty return

WHEN Dustin Martin first returned to Punt Highway early one morning a fortnight in the past, Damien Hardwick puzzled why the famous person midfielder didn’t have a takeaway latte for him.

After greater than a month away from the Swinburne Centre, the Brownlow Medal winner was again within the constructing and able to get again all the way down to enterprise.

Hardwick was solely joking in regards to the espresso. However two weeks on from the session that satisfied the three-time premiership coach that the 30-year-old was good to go once more, Martin supplied the Tigers with a caffeine enhance on Saturday afternoon.

Whereas Tom Lynch stole the present with six targets from a career-high 25 disposals and 11 marks, the sight of the No.4 strolling across the MCG on a gray Saturday afternoon was the clear spotlight in Richmond’s 27-point win over Collingwood.

Martin completed with 23 disposals, 11 rating involvements, 358 metres gained, two targets and some classic moments in his first recreation since taking private go away after spherical one – and solely his second recreation since struggling a lacerated kidney in Queensland final July.

“It was great to see him back. I think the fans and the AFL in general were happy to see him step on the ground,” Hardwick advised reporters after the spherical eight win on the MCG.

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“It was a reasonably touching second when he kicked that aim and the entire aspect acquired to him. I would say there have been a number of misty eyes within the coaches field and down under as properly.

“It was a nice moment to get some reward for the hard work he’s put in for himself. We’re pleased. He got through. He’ll get better again next week. That’s exciting for us. He is an energy guy who brings an enormous amount of spirit to our group. It’s just great to have him back.”

Lynch leapfrogged Geelong star Tom Hawkins to climb to the highest of the Coleman Medal chief board, backing up his 7.5 towards West Coast in Perth final Friday evening to maneuver to 27.13 for the season. 

“I think he has had a great season thus far. He put a lot of work in over summer. I think he had his best pre-season from that point of view,” Hardwick stated.

“We’re pleased with how he’s going; he’s getting some really good looks. He is really dangerous when he gets a long jump. He is having a great year.”

Richmond expects Dion Prestia and Nick Vlastuin to be accessible to face Hawthorn on the MCG subsequent Saturday after the star pair had been pulled out of the 22 as a consequence of sickness.

New key defender Robbie Tarrant was unable to drive his approach again into Richmond’s again six on Saturday after lacking the journey to Perth, enjoying within the earlier recreation at Port Melbourne as a result of emergence of top-ten choose Josh Gibcus throughout the primary two months of 2022.

Hardwick stated the previous Kangaroo has been coping with a hip harm however didn’t wish to use it as an excuse following a gradual begin to life in yellow and black.

“Look, he’s the first to put up his hand that he can play better, but a testament to the guy is he has a bit of a sore hip, and he has for some time. It is impacting him and he’ll never complain,” he stated.

“We thought as a footy membership, have one other week off, however he demanded to play. That’s the kind of man we have.

“He’s going to be important for us. We didn’t need him to play this week. That’s not to say we were not going to need him next week. He’s a very, very good player that’s a little hampered at the minute.”

Collingwood coach Craig McRae stated sickness wasn’t a cause for the flat efficiency, regardless of Brayden Maynard, Nick Daicos, Taylor Adams and others coping with the flu within the construct up, every week after gastro hit a bunch of gamers forward of the win towards Gold Coast. 

“I thought it was a bigger thing last week. Last week we were coughing and spluttering coming into the game. We didn’t even speak to the players last week,” McRae stated on Saturday evening.

“Did it assist? No, nevertheless it wasn’t an excuse. Early within the week in all probability 4 or 5 of them didn’t get to coach. By way of the place it was comparative to final week was nowhere close to the identical.

“I just felt they were a bit more seasoned. I said to the players, I feel we are eight rounds in and it’s eight dates into a relationship, if you like. [Richmond] are more like married with three kids. It really feels like that. Our group is learning how to play together. Youth versus experience in some parts of the ground. I think we had six under 21 today.”

Richmond displaced Collingwood within the high eight on Saturday afternoon by levelling the ledger at 4-4 after eight rounds.

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