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Graham’s great grunt work

Defensive plays of the game: Round 13 Watch the best defensive plays from the Round 13 win over Geelong, brought to you by Otterbox.

Tough, young Richmond midfielder Jack Graham relished his return to the Tigers’ senior side for yesterday’s big clash with Geelong at the MCG after being omitted from the line-up the previous week.

Graham did what he does best – applying enormous pressure to the opposition, from the get-go until the final siren.

The 20-year-old had a game-high and equal AFL career-high 13 tackles – and made each one of them count in Richmond’s hard-fought, 18-point win.

It was the third time in just 16 senior games with the Tigers that he’s had 10 or more tackles.

He’s averaging 6.3 tackles in the 11 games he’s played this season and is currently ranked sixth competition-wide for tackles per match.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick praised Graham’s defensive work in his post-game press conference.

“It was a blue on my part last week not playing him. He wasn’t in the greatest form, but it just goes to show,” Hardwick said.

“We value all three facets of the game – offense, defence and contest.

“While he’s an okay offensive player, he’s an elite defensive player.

“You look at what he brings – 13 tackles, 90-odd pressure points.

“He’s just the sort of player that we love having in the side.

“He contributes in ways that others can’t.

“There’s other players that get the offensive plaudits, but his defensive accountability is outstanding.”