AFL 2022: Tigers ‘absolutely pleased’ to see Dustin Martin, but playing future still not clear: Damien Hardwick


Kane Lambert was held over from a VFL match on Sunday in the hope he will be available to take on the Eagles in what is a critical clash for both clubs given their struggles this season.

“Once again, it was a five-day break, so if he played today, he was no chance of playing over in Perth,” Hardwick said.

The 30-year-old has not played since Richmond’s opening round loss to Carlton.Credit:Getty Images

“We will try to get him through training and see how he goes. He just didn’t quite look comfortable enough … last week.

“He will have a run around (on Monday) and try (to) prove his fitness. We have a short session planned, so we have to make a call one way or the other pretty early.”

The Richmond coach was frustrated the Tigers did not play with more boldness early when arguably on top of Melbourne in the opening term.

But he feels there are signs the Tigers, which are one win outside the eight, can become a more formidable team if they can find greater consistency across the ground.

“There are some areas of our game we did well. There are some areas of our game we have certainly got to improve,” he said.

“What we have got to remember is that we have played a really good side that will put a lot of sides to the sword this year and we got within 20 points.

“The scoreboard probably flattered us a little bit, but there are some signs that we are going OK in various areas.”

Thomson Dow was substituted from the match with a corked thigh, with Hardwick saying he was unlikely to be available for the clash against the Eagles.

Although Melbourne was wildly inaccurate in the first half, coach Simon Goodwin was pleased with the professionalism of his side as they moved to a 6-0 record for the second straight season.

Martin opted to take leave as he continues to mourn the death of his father Shane Martin last December.

Martin opted to take leave as he continues to mourn the death of his father Shane Martin last December.Credit:Getty

Forward Sam Weideman, who missed selection in last year’s grand final, was preferred to veteran Tom McDonald and justified his presence when kicking three goals.

He sits second on Melbourne’s goal-kicking table this year with eight goals from four matches, six behind Bailey Fritsch, who added two to his tally against Richmond.

“Obviously when you miss out on (an) opportunity, and you have some things to work on, it is up to the individual and to the coaches around him … to go away and work on his game,” he said.

“I think he has just reminded everyone of the talent that he has got and his ability to keep impacting games.”

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