Maurice Rioli is stretchered off the ground during the match between Richmond and the Western Bulldogs at the MCG in round nine, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

THE INJURY crisis at Richmond has deepened yet again with three players facing a stint on the sidelines following a bruising encounter with the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night.  

Already a horror night on the field with a hefty 91-point defeat, the Tigers' latest injury woes added to the ever-growing list of sidelined players at the club.

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Two-time premiership player Jack Graham (hamstring) was substituted out of the game in the third quarter with yet another soft tissue issue in what was the 26-year-old's first match back since injuring the same hamstring in the Anzac Day Eve clash against Melbourne.

Young midfielder Sam Banks was concussed after a scary landing in a marking contest in the third quarter when Dogs ruckman Tim English accidentally took his legs from underneath him.

Then in the dying stages of the game, Maurice Rioli jnr hurt his ankle after his left leg got caught and twisted under the weight of an Adam Treloar tackle. He will be sent for scans to determine the extent of the damage.


"It's a bit disappointing with the young lads that have gone out of the game again, so we get tested as a footy club," Tigers coach Adem Yze said.

"(Banks) was concussed so he'll go into protocols, and Jack Graham felt tight in the same hammy he previously injured, so we didn't want to take any risks with that and we'll have to bite the bullet and he'll be out for a week or two.

"Maurice we're hoping just a rolled his ankle, but whenever there's a rolled ankle it could be syndesmosis as well so we'll just wait for the scan on that.

"We've got a few sore boys there."


It wasn't all bad news for the Tigers, with Noah Balta and Dion Prestia making a successful return from their respective injuries.

While the injury toll was clearly a factor for the Tigers, Yze was quick to praise the Bulldogs' effort in the crushing win.   

"Our execution and our method was off early," he said.

"In the first half we just couldn't get our game going the way we wanted to and they were very, very good.

"They came with a strong contest, smashed us around clearance and their good players played really well.

"It's really disappointing."

The win gave under-siege coach Luke Beveridge some relief following a week of fierce criticism from the football world.

Under a blowtorch after four losses in their previous five games, the Bulldogs were dominant from the opening bounce and improved their record to 4-5 ahead of a tough away clash with Greater Western Sydney next week.

"We knew exactly what we left out there the week before when we faced a determined Hawthorn side that got us in the end, but everyone kept their heads and were really composed and I saw some great signs of leadership from some of the players," Beveridge said.

"One of the difficulties when maybe there is some external pressure is to go into a game and relax your mind and make fluid and concerted decisions in the game, especially with the ball.

"I thought tonight our ball security and the way we used our hands and brought each other into the game was as good as we've done for a fair while.

"It's been a hallmark of the times when we've been a really good team and challenged or not. I just thought that everyone really kept their heads.

"There was a lot of heart in tonight ... and the spirit in the players was strong.

"Now the maintenance of that and the progression of it going into a really challenging game against GWS will be really important."


The Bulldogs have a tough month ahead, with matches against the Giants (away) Sydney, Collingwood and Brisbane (all at Marvel Stadium) to come.