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Tigers to lick their wounds ahead of six-day break

Geelong were 'a lot cleaner in and around the contest' Despite a long injury list, Dimma expects Richmond to play better than they did tonight

RICHMOND will lick its wounds and hope for reinforcements as it deals with a six-day break ahead of a clash with Adelaide next Thursday night at Adelaide Oval.

The Tigers were made to look second-class by ladder-leading Geelong on Friday night at the MCG and were smashed by 67 points.

TIGERS FALL WELL SHORT Full match coverage and stats

During the thumping, a Jack Higgins snap was judged to be a behind, despite replays seeming to show it was a goal. 

However, coach Damien Hardwick refused to criticise the system. 

 

Richmond's lack of luck extends beyond calls made by officiators. Injuries have cruelled its season thus far, with spearhead Jack Riewoldt (knee), outstanding defender Alex Rance (knee) and bruising ruckman Toby Nankervis (adductor) among those sidelined.

Superstar Dustin Martin looked in ominous touch early but copped a "massive corkie", according to coach Damien Hardwick, in the second quarter. 

"We thought about icing it up but he wanted to keep going … it probably softened his impact a little bit," Hardwick said. 

He expected the 2017 Brownlow medallist to be right to face the Crows. 

"He finished off the game. He'll look after himself and get it right, so we'd assume he'll play next week," Hardwick said.

Running backman Brandon Ellis is a "possibility" to return from a groin concern while lockdown defender David Astbury is "less likely" as he negotiates a hamstring complaint. 

"(Astbury's) had some soreness there and it probably just flared up. Initially we thought it might be just one week. We think it's going to be another week at this stage, and just get him through to the bye and reassess," Hardwick said.

Tough nut Nick Vlastuin copped a hip knock in the Cats loss but is expected to recover well, while an Achilles issue continues to plague Kane Lambert. 

"That's another one, we're just looking at the situation and whether we take the extra week into the bye. He's another player we miss enormously at the moment. He's probably less likely to play against Adelaide," Hardwick said. 

 

Many Tigers were down in what was billed as a clash of two heavyweights. Among those was high-profile recruit Tom Lynch, who bagged 1.2 and sent three out of bounds. 

"I know people keep looking for him to be this messiah but the reality is that's not what we got him for," Hardwick said.

"We got him to create contests. We haven't had a settled forward line all year." 

His pre-season was severely limited by recovery from a knee issue that required two surgeries from midway through 2018. 

"Ideally, did we think Tom would play 11 or 12 games straight up? Probably not, but with the hand we've been dealt at the moment, he's probably been asked to do it and he hasn't complained one bit," Hardwick said. 

"We've got to remember he's done it on a very, very limited base. He's only training once a week at the moment. After the break, he'll train twice a week, which once again will improve his ability to get around the ground." 

WATCH Damien Hardwick's full post-match media conference

Hardwick was on the bench when Higgins' snap was considered to be a point. 

"I couldn't see anything anyway. It is what it is," Hardwick said.

The AFL has trialled a bunker system in the past that would centralise decisions and theoretically create more accuracy, but Hardwick wasn't a fan of that idea.

"We can spend our money better than on those sort of things," Hardwick said. 

"Just let the umpire make the decisions. It's been happening for 150 years, or even more.

"I don't really care."