Dustin Martin high fives fans as he leaves the field after the R14 match between Richmond and Hawthorn at the MCG on June 15, 2024. Picture: Michael Willson, AFL Photos

DESPITE Richmond's 48-point loss to Hawthorn in Dustin Martin's 300th game, Adem Yze said it would have been "disrespectful" not to celebrate the star on the final siren.

After the match, Martin spent some time acknowledging the 92,311 fans who turned out to revel in the moment.

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"We didn't want to miss the opportunity to celebrate one of our best, one of our greatest players and one of our greatest teammates," Yze said.

"Our players love playing with him, he's never made it about himself, so to see him walking around the ground to acknowledge our fans was a really nice moment."

In an interview with three-time premiership teammate Jack Riewoldt after the match, Martin confirmed he would be back in the yellow and black in a fortnight after the bye, quashing retirement rumours.

"He will discuss (his retirement) as it gets closer to the end of the year, right now he's in a really good space, he's training well, he's enjoying training and he's loving being around the footy club," Yze said.


Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell said the milestone "event" certainly came into his side's preparations this week.

"It was a strange game to prepare for to be honest," Mitchell said.

"92,000 people turned up, and maybe half of them for one person who we've all admired for a long period of time. So preparing for that was different … and I think it was a fantastic experience for our players to be in an event, not just a game."

Martin broke the early stalemate to kick the first goal of the game in impressive fashion. Although conceding a goal was not ideal for Mitchell's Hawks, it was a moment to observe for what it was.


"When he kicked that goal, obviously from the coach's box you've got a fantastic view, and the whole MCG stood up at one and there was actually something beautiful about it," Mitchell said.

"I said to the players 'did you actually enjoy it?' and one of the forwards said yeah of course he did … and I was rapt with the way we handled that moment, because it could have easily pulled us apart, but it didn't."

Mitchell admitted that the Hawks had to play "the villain", but it was an important win to even the ledger at 7-7 heading into the bye after the side lost its first five games of the season.

"We're far from a finished product," Mitchell said.

"Even today, that was a good win but there's a lot of stuff in our game that wasn't as sharp as we're going to need to play against the Sydneys of the world."


Mitchell said he wasn't concerned about the poor conversion of small forward Nick Watson – who kicked one goal from six shots – but rather focused on the 19-year-old's attack at the football.

"I think when you're in your first season, there's an enormous amount of pressure. I mean, he's not very tall, and he's 18, 19 years old. He's playing in front of 92,000 in Dusty's game, and he's playing with that level of enthusiasm and joy," Mitchell said.

"I'm not concerned about his goalkicking, that'll come and that'll be more of a finished product for him, but I was pleased that he was able to step up on the occasion and played a really important role for us."


For the Tigers, Tom Lynch's return from a hamstring injury wasn't the dangerous inclusion the side might have hoped for. The star forward had just four disposals before being rested for much of the final quarter.

"He was obviously trying his heart out, as he does, and it just gives us a really good focal point forward of the ball. He's a little bit rusty, obviously hadn't played for 10 weeks," Yze said.

"We put him on ice just because of his game time."

Yze also confirmed that Shai Bolton (corked leg) and Jack Graham's (hamstring) failure to return to the field late in the game was precautionary, with the latter's history with soft tissue injuries a particular concern.