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Maric fires in VFL, young Dog suffers serious knee injury

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 16: Ivan Maric of Richmond (L) and Will Minson of the Footscray Bulldogs battle in the ruck  during the round two VFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Footscray Bulldogs at Punt Road Oval on April 16, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Jack Thomas/AFL Media/Getty Images)
Ivan Maric battles with Will Minson in Saturday's VFL clash

RICHMOND ruckman Ivan Maric put himself in line for promotion after a solid performance in the Tigers' 52-point win against Footscray on Saturday afternoon at ME Bank Oval.

It was a bad day for the Bulldogs, with fears Josh Prudden may have ruptured his ACL. The 21-year-old was sent for scans on his knee.

Bulldogs list manager Jason McCartney told Triple M later on Saturday an ACL rupture was the most likely outcome. 

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The injury comes in the wake of Western Bulldogs skipper Robert Murphy tearing his ACL in last week's loss to Hawthorn.

Maric had been hampered by a back injury but returned to the VFL last Sunday and played 75 per cent game time.

The 30-year-old split his time between the ruck and forward line. In the final term though, he played mostly in attack before finishing the game on the bench.

With Shaun Hampson suffering a corked thigh in last night's loss to West Coast, Maric's return to form comes at the perfect time for the struggling Tigers.

The Bulldogs had 2013 All Australian Will Minson and Tom Campbell up against the Tigers' big man pairing of Maric and Ivan Soldo.

Clearance specialist Anthony Miles had 30 disposals and was prominent at the contest to press his case for senior selection.

Miles was dropped after playing every game last season.

His form will put pressure on former Port Adelaide midfielder Andrew Moore, who had just nine disposals against West Coast in his Richmond debut.

Bulldog forward Tory Dickson played his first game this season after injuring his quadriceps leading up to round one.

He started in attack and kicked a goal, before moving into the midfield.

Tigers Defender Jake Batchelor impressed down back and will be in contention to replace David Astbury, who looks likely to miss against the Demons after injuring his left ankle.

Batchelor finished with 19 disposals.

Richmond forward Liam McBean was excellent, kicking five goals and providing a focal point in attack.