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Five talking points: Richmond v Brisbane Lions

Dinny Navaratnam  July 16, 2017 3:45 PM

Highlights: Richmond v Brisbane Lions The Tigers and Lions clash in round 17

1. Dusty's Brownlow couldn't be in danger, could it?
There might be some nervous moments for Richmond after superstar Dustin Martin's left fist appeared to make contact with Brisbane Lions stopper Nick Robertson in the third quarter. Robertson went down, perhaps a little too easily for the liking of the pro-Tigers crowd. Nevertheless, there could be ramifications for the end of year awards if Martin is rubbed out. Entering the game, Martin was two votes ahead of Patrick Dangerfield in the AFL.com.au Brownlow predictor, and with the Cat having a foot injury to worry about, it seemed the medal may be destined to be around Martin's neck come season's end. It's certainly not a good time to be throwing fists around as the AFL looks to clamp down on punches. Meanwhile, Robertson looks likely to be sidelined after he was reported for headbutting Richmond captain Trent Cotchin. The Lion wasn't out to win any popularity contests based on some of his negating tactics, although it was to little avail as Martin ran amok in the third quarter, notching up 15 disposals and a goal. He went on to rack up 40 disposals, two goals, and surely another three votes from the umpires.

2. Dumb Richmond mistakes coming off their worst game of the year
Richmond would have been especially determined to play well after its worst performance of the season last week, when it was thumped by St Kilda by 67 points. Early on, the signs looked good. Cotchin was involved multiple times as the Tigers kicked a goal in the first 30 seconds, with Jason Castagna snapping it through. That early indication made it seem as if Richmond would assert itself for a comfortable win, but over and over again Damien Hardwick's men made silly errors. Castagna missed a snap he should've put through, while his set shot later on went into the man on the mark. A Jack Riewoldt dribble kick barely connected with his foot, when it should've been a goal. Shane Edwards' handball in defence went straight to Hugh McCluggage, allowing Dayne Zorko to kick a goal. The Tigers came away with the victory but missed a chance to boost their percentage, which could be costly come finals time.

WATCH: Don't argues galore in Dusty domination

3. The 'Schach' shows signs in attack
Back for his first senior game since signing a two-year contract in June, Josh Schache collected 14 disposals and snagged two goals. What impressed was not necessarily his presence in the air but his work at ground level. His intensity when the ball hit the deck was notable and his tackling and pressure when the ball was in his immediate area showed desperation. It was obvious early what his focus was when he nailed Richmond defender Dylan Grimes with a crunching tackle. He slotted a goal when Jarrod Berry nailed him while the second NAB AFL Draft selection was running back into an open goal in the second quarter, with the left-footer finishing nicely. Berry was again on hand to assist when he booted the ball into the forward line, allowing Schache to take a pack mark in the final term when he really went hard at the footy.

Full match coverage and stats

4. Zorko's statless quarter
The zippy midfielder has been superb for the Lions for a few seasons and received due recognition from the Melbourne media after the finest performance of his career when he racked up 36 disposals and four goals in the loss to Geelong last week. Unfortunately for the Lions, that form was nowhere to be seen early against the Tigers. Dion Prestia spent some time on him but didn't enforce a hard tag, and Zorko did not have a disposal in the first quarter. He livened up somewhat later in the contest and slotted a tough goal to close the margin to eight points in the second term. A particularly ignominious moment came when he was the victim of a brutal Martin fend-off, which was almost dismissive in its contempt for the Lions star. That was the tone of Zorko's day as he finished with 11 disposals and a goal.

5. Proud Prestia hits back
The big-name recruit came to the club from Gold Coast with plenty of fanfare after the Tigers nabbed him in a trade at the end of last year. His training load has had to be managed after a limited pre-season, his 2016 campaign having been ended early with knee surgery. After some scrutiny during the week, Prestia looked as if he was assigned to some of the star Lions – Zorko and Dayne Beams in particular. That pair had quiet days while Prestia picked up 19 disposals and a goal in a display that might not have been the reason Richmond traded for him, but was nevertheless encouraging.