Tigers count the cost of horror 91-point AFL loss as Bulldogs relieve pressure on Luke Beveridge

Tigers count the cost of horror 91-point AFL loss as Bulldogs relieve pressure on Luke Beveridge
  • PublishedMay 12, 2024

Richmond is hopeful Maurice Rioli Jr has avoided serious injury after he twisted an ankle and was one of two players taken off the field on a medicab during a humiliating 91-point defeat to the Western Bulldogs.

Tigers teammate Sam Banks was also driven off the MCG after he was concussed during Saturday night’s one-sided contest and Jack Graham re-injured his troublesome hamstring.

Rioli was caught in possession by Adam Treloar during the dying stages of the match and hurt his left ankle in a gruesome incident.

The Tigers forward was left writhing in pain on the turf as medical staff rushed to his aid.

“We’re hoping it’s just a rolled ankle but whenever there’s a rolled ankle it could be syndesmosis,” Tigers coach Adem Yze said after his side’s 19.19 (133) to 6.6 (42) defeat.

“But we’ll just wait for the scan on that.

“He was trying so hard in that last quarter too.

“We gave him a bit of midfield exposure, which was nice, but then to see him get injured … we’ve got a few sore boys there.”

Inexperienced midfielder Banks was knocked out after hitting his head on the turf in a scary landing from a third-quarter marking contest.

Bulldogs ruckman Tim English accidentally took the 21-year-old’s legs from underneath him after being pushed into the contest by Noah Balta.

Play was held up for several minutes while medical staff assessed Banks, who was awake and alert in the change room soon afterwards.

Graham, who returned from a one-week lay-off with a hamstring injury, had been substituted out of the match a few minutes earlier after re-injuring the same muscle.

“Banksy’s up and about now. He was concussed so he’ll go into the protocols,” Yze said.

“Jack Graham just felt tight in a hammy, the same hammy, so we didn’t want to take any risks with that.

“But we’ll have to bite the bullet and he’ll be out for a week or two.”

Richmond has been smashed by injuries in Yze’s first season at the helm, with Jacob Hopper, Tim Taranto, Tom Lynch and Josh Gibcus all among the stars sidelined.

Bulldogs find winning formula

Under a blowtorch after four losses in their previous five matches, the pressure had been mounting on Bulldogs coach Beveridge.

But his side held their opponents goalless in the first quarter and were never challenged in a result that improved their win-loss record to 4-5 ahead of a tough away clash with Greater Western Sydney next week.

“One of the difficulties when maybe there is some external pressure is to go into a game and relax your mind and make fluid and concerted decisions in the game, especially with the ball,” Beveridge said.

“I thought our ball security and the way we used our hands and brought each other into the game was as good as we’ve done for a fair while.

Aaron Naughton celebrates a Western Bulldogs goal against Richmond.
Aaron Naughton impressed for the Bulldogs with a four-goal haul.(AAP: Rob Prezioso)

“It’s been a hallmark of the times when we’ve been a really good team and challenged or not. I just thought that everyone really kept their heads.

“There was a lot of heart in tonight … and the spirit in the players was strong.

“Now the maintenance of that and the progression of it going into a really challenging game against GWS will be really important.”

Aaron Naughton, Sam Darcy and James Harmes (four goals each) cashed in on the Bulldogs’ territorial dominance of Richmond as they won a lop-sided inside-50 count (77-41).


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