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Riewoldt strong and bold

Jack Riewoldt valiantly flew the flag for Richmond in its preliminary final loss to Collingwood.

3:28pm  Sep 22, 2018

Dusty 'was always going to play'

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick insists superstar Dustin Martin was "fine" to play in Friday night's first preliminary final, saying the Tigers never considered ruling him out of the blockbuster.

1:02am  Sep 22, 2018

Tigers' season comes to an end

Collingwood has stunned Richmond by 39 points at the MCG on Friday night to book its spot in the 2018 Grand Final.

10:18pm  Sep 21, 2018

Martin could spend more time forward: Dimma

Sarah Black, AFL Media  April 14, 2018 6:18 PM

Round 4: Hardwick post-match Damien Hardwick speaks to the media following Richmond's Round 4 win over Brisbane.

LAST year, Dustin Martin kicked 37 goals in his Brownlow medal-winning season.

This year, Martin already has 12 to his name from just four games.

And in words set to send a shiver down the spine of opposition defenders, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick believes he now has the players in the midfield to allow Martin to spend even more time one-on-one in the goal-square.

"It's two-fold really, we've got the midfield depth to come in and cover him in the middle part of the ground. Dion (Prestia)'s addition today was really important and probably the emergence of Reece Conca as well is starting to pay dividends through there," Hardwick said.

"We also know because of that depth, we can start to push Dustin forward a lot more and it becomes another weapon for us. All of a sudden, they have to change their match-up.

"That was a good look for us today, there's no doubt about that. He's a beast up there, one-on-one he's very hard to combat."

Martin kicked a career-high six goals in Richmond's comprehensive 93-point thumping of Brisbane, spending nearly half his time up forward.

"We still love [Martin] around the ball, because he's so dominant in getting the ball inside 50 as well. What we really enjoy is the spread we have in the middle of the ground," Hardwick said.

Round 4: Dusty "It's grouse"

"We have Trent (Cotchin) there as pretty much a stock-standard, but the rest of those guys can rotate through which helps us."

Conca (26 disposals against the Lions) is finally starting to find his feet at the top level, after playing just 18 games across four injury-plagued seasons, struggling with hamstring and foot issues.

"He's been able to [fully] train, he's had a pretty good pre-season as well. He's had a horrible run with injuries over the last two to three years, but we're starting to see that when he is around the ball, he hunts it well, he uses it well and defensively he is very good as well," Hardwick said.

"I was really pleased. It allows Jack Graham to play outside a little bit … which was another thing we were happy with by the end of the game. We're pleased with the progression of those players which is important for us to get better as a footy club."

Prestia finished with 23 disposals after missing the first three games of the season with hamstring and glute injuries. The thumping win meant the Tigers could afford to rest him and he played just 77 minutes.

Cotchin (26 touches), Shaun Grigg (26) and Kane Lambert (24) were others who were able to spend time in the middle of the ground to great effect.

Round 4: Grimes' desperation in defence

Richmond will not play until its Anzac Eve clash against Melbourne on Tuesday 24 April, a 10-day break, with the players given three days off.

"It's funny, as a coach, you prefer the shorter breaks. I'm not a big rap for the longer breaks because then you get a little bit of work into them which increases the risk of maybe an injury or two, but we'll take it as it is.

"They will mentally and physically freshen up for a period of time, then we'll get back to work when they get back."