There is only one thing worse than a humiliating loss to a team deemed more than beatable in Port Adelaide and that is injuries to key playmakers in Kane Lambert and Trent Cotchin. The team is already struggling and the recent returns of Ivan Maric and Brett Deledio from injury are yet to make an impact, though it is too harsh to judge both who have been back in the senior this past fortnight.
Whilst the influence Lambert can have on a game may not be spoken about in the same way that Cotchin most often is, the mid/forward has been a solid contributor this season. He most notably netted 28 disposals (16 kicks, 12 handballs), eight marks, seven tackles and a goal in Richmond’s solitary win so far in 2016. Cotchin meanwhile has been the subject of unfair criticism in recent weeks, but has starred in a number of the losses (38 disposals against Collingwood, 32 disposals against Adelaide, 29 disposals against West Coast and 32 disposals against Melbourne), which makes the criticism from external sources very questionable.
With matches in the next three weeks against Hawthorn, Sydney and Fremantle; Richmond will be up against it without the likes of Lambert and Cotchin. The former played out the opening term despite being injured within the first five minutes whilst the latter played out the entire game despite being injured during a similar timeframe. Perhaps their bravery and toughness will inspire their teammates in their absence.
In some encouraging news, the Tigers should welcome back Nick Vlastuin from injury, after he participated in full training on Tuesday especially. The defender, who hasn’t played since Round 4, appears to have recovered from a leg injury and his services down back have been missed. Vlastuin did particularly well in the opening two rounds of the season, netting 18 and 17 disposals respectively.
What are your thoughts?