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Vlastuin to the fore

Top-notch small backman Nick Vlastuin led the way in the AFL Coaches’ Association’s Player of the Year Award Round 13 voting for the Richmond v Geelong clash.

9:00am  Jun 19, 2018

Astbury a certain starter for Swans clash

Richmond defender David Astbury has declared himself a certain starter for the Tigers' clash with Sydney on the other side of this week's bye.

4:12pm  Jun 18, 2018

Vlastuin in ripping nick

Nick Vlastuin strengthened his status as one of the competition’s best small defenders with a superb performance for Richmond against Geelong at the MCG yesterday.

3:33pm  Jun 18, 2018

Tigers 'anticipating' Dusty will return to face Cats

Marcus Wilson, AFL Media  June 9, 2018 12:45 AM

Round 12: Hardwick post-match Damien Hardwick speaks to the media following the Round 12 match against Port Adelaide.

RICHMOND remains confident Dustin Martin will return for the Tigers' blockbuster round 13 clash against Geelong after missing the loss to Port Adelaide on Friday night.

Martin was sidelined with a calf problem, but coach Damien Hardwick says it's not a serious injury.

"We're anticipating he'll play," Hardwick said.

"If the game (against Port) was Sunday he probably plays but we were just a couple of days short.

"It's one of those ones you can push the envelope and he's probably going to miss possibly two if it goes pear-shaped.

"We'd rather just take the week and get him back and play him in the Geelong game."

The last time the durable Martin was sidelined with injury was in round 22, 2014, but the Tigers were still able to emerge victorious.

It was a different story this time, with his physical presence around the contests sorely missed as the Tigers fell to a 14-point loss to the Power.

"Port are the highest stoppage side in the competition, they make it a contested nature," Hardwick said.

"We've got (Dion) Prestia out we've got Dustin out. Look at Port Adelaide, their strength is those bigger bodied mids in and around the contest.

"We tried to take that away from them. They play wide, the ball goes out of bounds, they start again – we just couldn't get the game played the way we wanted it to be played."

Richmond has been impressive at home, but has lost all three games on the road this season (round two against Adelaide and round nine against West Coast).

The Tigers still have two more interstate games against GWS and Gold Coast this season, but Hardwick isn't concerned by their away record.

"At the end of the day wins away are really tough. I don't think our (record) is any more significantly bad than other teams that play away, that's the harsh reality of the AFL game," he said.

"We've played all the really good sides interstate."

Meanwhile, Hardwick is hopeful defender David Astbury has avoided any serious damage to his ankle after he limped off in the second term.

The defender returned to play out the game, but will be monitored next week.