RICHMOND has urged Tom Lynch to continue his aggressive approach despite the key forward again likely to find himself under scrutiny from the Match Review Officer for a clash with Essendon's Michael Hurley.

Lynch was fined for two separate incidents in Monday night's clash with Gold Coast, and will be assessed again for his shove to Hurley in the last quarter of Richmond's 12-point win in the Dreamtime in Darwin contest on Saturday night.


The pair were grappling as Lynch initiated a lead but he made contact with his arm to Hurley's throat in a bid to push away from the Bombers defender.  

06:07 Mins
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Highlights: Essendon v Richmond

The Bombers and Tigers go head to head in the 'Dreamtime in Darwin'

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Coach Damien Hardwick vigorously defended Lynch's physicality this week and said he wouldn't be advising caution to the key forward. 

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"I haven't seen it and at the end of the day, Tom plays. He plays like that. He's a hard, tough player and you saw the courage of him coming out and leading out to that ball late and the collision with [Adam] Saad. [He's a] pretty tough guy," the two-time premiership coach said post-game.

"I've been around footy a long time and I've been very fortunate enough to be at some really good organisations. 

"All the good ones run the line all the time. They generally give away the most free kicks and they generally have the most reports, that's why they're a good side." 

Lynch kicked two goals against Essendon in the Tigers' hard-fought win in the centerpiece of the AFL's Sir Doug Nicholls Round. 

00:32 Mins
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Lynch holds on to mark despite heavy collision with former teammate

Essendon backman Adam Saad goes his hardest in this contest with Richmond spearhead Tom Lynch

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The Tigers' seventh win from their past nine games came after their dominated the play and possession against Essendon, recording 66 inside-50 entries to the Bombers' 24. They also had 12 more scoring shots. 

"There was a lot of things we did right, we just couldn't quite get the scoreboard ticking over as nicely as we'd like. I thought we played a pretty good brand of footy and just couldn't quite get the polish on the end and we left a lot of goals on the table," Hardwick said.  

Essendon's finals hopes were dealt a big blow in the defeat, with the Bombers managing only one win from their past seven games. 

They sit 12th on the ladder and look set to miss the top-eight after bowing out in last year's elimination final, but coach John Worsfold said critics of the side's development were off the mark.

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"I've read some comments from people that are pretty well respected people in the footy industry and they sound like six-year-old kids," he said.

"It's a bit embarrassing to read what some people say, but it's a passionate game. I get that and they write stuff. But we're going to stick the course and we're going to be a very good team very quickly.

"I know people want quickly to be next week, but that’s not the way it works in the AFL." 

07:19 Mins
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Worsfold on critics: 'They sounded like six-year-old kids'

Essendon coach John Worsfold didn't hold back when discussing what others had said about the Bombers and was adamant his team is on the right track

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Worsfold was also strong on the impact of a free kick given away from Jake Stringer that cost Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti a goal in the second term. The goal would have put the Bombers 11 points ahead. 

The outgoing Bombers coach said it came at a crucial time. 

"[It had a] massive impact. At that point that was potentially going to give us a two-goal lead and maybe a three-goal lead, I'm not really sure. It was obviously something pretty drastic to overturn a kick like that," Worsfold said.

"Unfortunately that's the way the umpires called it and we have to cop that but it was a pretty critical part of the game."