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Hardwick downplays fears on star forward's leg injury

Full post-match: Tigers Watch Richmond's press conference after round 10's match against Essendon

RICHMOND is confident star recruit Tom Lynch will be fit to face North Melbourne next Friday night after sustaining a corked calf in the Tigers’ win over Essendon. 

The former Gold Coast co-captain sat out the last quarter of the Tigers' 22-point victory, leading to fears the key forward may have had an issue with his troublesome knee.

However, the club says Lynch was taken off for precautionary reasons with next week's clash with the Kangaroos in mind.

TIGERS TAKE DREAMTIME HONOURS Full match coverage and stats

"He's just got a corkie," coach Damien Hardwick said post-game.

"It was one of those situations where we probably thought we had the game in hand. We probably took him off a little bit too early, but with a six-day break for next week we thought we'd give him every chance to recover.

"We think he'll be fine for that game."

The Tigers also expect captain Trent Cotchin to be back for the clash, having missed the past seven weeks with a hamstring injury.

Lynch had booted two goals from five disposals before his night ended prematurely as the Tigers strolled to a comfortable victory in the annual Dreamtime at the 'G game.

In wet conditions Richmond led the Bombers by 37 points at the last change, before Essendon rallied in the final term to get within 15 points midway through the fourth quarter before the Tigers steadied. It was Richmond's sixth win from its past seven games.

"The last quarter was a little bit disappointing, but sometimes when the opposition roll the dice they get a couple of breaks along the way and we probably have some things to learn from that, so that's a pleasing thing as well," Hardwick said.

WATCH Damien Hardwick's full post-match media conference

Hardwick praised the performance of Bachar Houli, who gathered 37 disposals and 10 rebound-50s on his way to winning the best afield Yiooken Trophy.

He also pointed to youngster Sydney Stack performing in the pre-game indigenous war cry as a sign of how Richmond has developed as a club in recent years.

"We embrace who he is. I was sitting there going 'Oh god', I was that nervous for him. I think I was more nervous for him doing the war cry than [playing] the game itself," he said.

 

"That's the one thing our club does well under Trent and the leaders…probably three years ago we're saying 'nah mate you're not doing that', but it's who we are and it's what we do.

"We want to make the guys feel really comfortable and express themselves."

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