RHYCE Shaw says Jack Ziebell re-injuring his hamstring on Saturday night was just "bad luck" after North Melbourne took a conservative approach in bringing its captain back.
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Ziebell limped off Metricon Stadium late in the first quarter of the 54-point loss against Richmond and did not return.
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The skipper was playing his first game after suffering a similar injury in the round four match against Hawthorn, but Shaw said Ziebell was not rushed back.
"I thought we did a really good job in bringing Jack back," Shaw said.
"He was pretty much right to go last week but we took the cautious route and it's ended up like this. It’s a bit of bad luck for Jack."
Ziebell's injury comes two weeks after star midfielder Ben Cunnington also failed to get through his first match back.
Cunnington hurt his back in round two, was rested for two weeks, and then battled to play three quarters against the Western Bulldogs before succumbing.
"We are assessing all the time and I thought we did a really good job after the Ben Cunnington incident," Shaw said.
"Again, I’ll take responsibility for that and I thought we learned a lot from that.
"We went forward, and I think the Jack scenario is a bit of bad luck to be honest."
It was an ugly night for the Kangaroos, who lost Cam Zurhaar (calf) before the match and youngster Kyron Hayden in the third quarter after he was on the wrong end of a heavy collision with Tiger Tom Lynch.
To make things even worse, they kicked just two goals for the night after recording just one inside 50 in the first quarter.
"This is AFL footy, so you just can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater," Shaw said.
"We’ve got to actually take these opportunities and find out who wants to take them and who doesn’t, and at the moment we probably just don’t have enough blokes rowing the boat."
It was a better night for Richmond, with coach Damien Hardwick impressed with its improvement from last week's ugly win over Sydney.
Josh Caddy suffered what looks to be a "significant" hamstring injury, which the coach thinks will keep him out for a number of weeks.
In positive news, Hardwick confirmed defender David Astbury would be available to play Greater Western Sydney next week, while Trent Cotchin is training well but would be kept another week.
The Richmond coach was full of praise for superstar Dustin Martin, who was tagged by Luke McDonald and managed to gather 16 disposals but kick two goals.
"Dustin's work around stoppage tonight … he provided opportunities for us, created two v ones, that's the growth in his game, the sign of a leader," Hardwick said.
"That's how far this kid's come in his football career, it's not about him, it's about that 'W' (win) at the end of the night that's what he's all about."