Main content

Other Tigers rise to ease Dusty’s load

Round 16: Dusty returns to form Watch Dustin Martin's highlights in the Round 16 win over Adelaide.

Although Richmond superstar Dustin Martin, quite understandably, has not emulated the astonishing season he produced in 2017 so far this year, his statistical numbers would, undoubtedly, still be the envy of most players in the competition.

Martin is averaging 24.6 disposals, 5.5 inside-50s, 5.4 clearances, 3.7 marks and 1.4 goals (19 in total) per game.

He’s ranked No. 1 in the competition for centre clearances, No. 1 for score involvements and No. 2 for inside-50s.

After a below-par first half in last Friday night’s clash with Adelaide at the MCG, Martin really turned it on in trademark style during the second half, and he finished the match with 30 disposals, including a team-high 17 contested possessions, game-high nine inside-50s, three clearances, six marks, two goals and 495 metres gained.

Several media outlets gave him votes for the impact he had in the Tigers’ 43-point win.

Post-game, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick expressed his satisfaction with Martin’s 2018 output, and how other players had shouldered more responsibility within the line-up this season to take some pressure off him.

“Look, he’s probably at 80 percent of his level last year, which is still pretty good. And we’re 12 (wins) and three (losses), so we win a lot of games,” Hardwick said.

“The pleasing thing for us is we don’t require those guys to be playing at the same level all the time.

“The majority of our leaders had outstanding years last year. They’ve had really good years this year as well, but the progression of guys like Nick Vlastuin, Kane Lambert, Dylan Grimes, David Astbury . . . just to see those guys stand up, that’s what makes a really good footy side. And that’s what we’ve become off the back of those players.

“So it’s sort of great in a way that those guys have, not so much stepped back, but the other guys have stepped forward.

“That really excites us.”