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Two more Tigers down as injury crisis continues

Dimma: 'The best they've looked this year' Damien Hardwick was super impressed by his small forwards, in particular Shai Bolton, who outclassed the Docker defence

RICHMOND'S injury curse has claimed No.1 ruckman Toby Nankervis and Jack Ross, but coach Damien Hardwick is confident the Tigers' depth will keep them in the September fight.

Hardwick lauded his troops for a "great win" after they overcame Fremantle by 25 points in the west on Sunday.

Seven premiership Tigers – headlined by Trent Cotchin, Jack Riewoldt and Alex Rance – were on the injury list but before the clash, but Richmond ambushed the home side in a ferocious performance.

WOUNDED TIGERS TOO STRONG Full match coverage and stats

Hardwick expected to lose Nankervis (groin) and Ross (foot) for next round's meeting with Hawthorn after both sat out the second half, but reinforcements could be on the way.  

"They both won't play next week, so where that leaves us longer term I'm not too sure," Hardwick said post-match.

"Both will have scans and we'll know from there.

"One thing we do look at is the opportunity it provides someone else.

"It's disappointing to lose those boys, no doubt, but (Nick) Vlastuin will probably be available to play, as will (Daniel) Rioli."

GAMEBREAKER Bolton goes beserk with four pearlers

Hardwick highlighted Patrick Naish, who booted four goals in the VFL, Dan Butler, Jake Aarts and Riley Collier-Dawkins as fringe players pushing the senior side. 

The Tigers played like their season depended on it against the Dockers, storming out of the blocks, and kicking away after Fremantle levelled scores from 25 points down.

Shai Bolton was the star in his first game back in WA, booting four goals, while Tom Lynch put a week of scrutiny behind with 15 disposals, six contested marks and 2.2 to get the better of Alex Pearce and Joel Hamling.

'BEST PERFORMANCE' Watch Damien Hardwick's full post-match press conference

"I thought he was outstanding. What did he kick, two? Hit the post a couple of times, looked really strong in the air," Hardwick said.

"The media, that's the job, we understand that.

"The fact of the matter is, Tom plays a valuable role within our football club. Is he going to play outstanding games all the time, take big marks and kick big goals? No, he's not.

"But he certainly will create a contest like he did tonight and give our crumbers a chance.

"The amount of times Shai Bolton kicks four goals, I don't know how (much) impact Tom had in those and bringing the ball to ground, but I'd probably say a couple.

"It was probably the best they've looked this year (with our small forwards).

"Once again, we've had some guys come and go in those positions, but to see Shai finally, I don't want to say arrive, because we know he's a good player, but to see the talent he could be is really exciting.

"He kicked the first goal, but he laid a crunching tackle and that's the area of his game we've been onto him to deliver.

"I think he had six tackles tonight and that's what gets him a game every week.

"He's got more offensive ability than most players in the AFL, but once he shows us defensively what he's all about – and we're seeing that now – he's a really valuable player for us going forward."

Hardwick played down a fourth-quarter incident involving Lynch, who copped a high forearm from Dockers skipper Nat Fyfe that will be looked at by the Match Review Officer.

"Things in games happen. Accidents happen, so move on," he said.