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Tigers to back depth for GWS clash

Round 16: Hardwick post-match Damien Hardwick addresses the media following Richmond's Round 16 win over Adelaide.

RICHMOND coach Damien Hardwick has backed the Tigers' depth to cover the costly toll of Friday night's win over Adelaide with the premiers possibly losing up to three players for next week's clash with GWS.

The Tigers have had a manageable injury list for the bulk of the season, but they'll need to identify reinforcements this week after losing Jack Graham (dislocated shoulder), Nathan Broad (depressed cheekbone fracture) and Dan Butler (ankle) during the 47-point win over the Crows.

"We've had injuries this year, more so than last year obviously, and we lose some really good players tonight but we get [Nick] Vlastuin and Bachar Houli back next week," Hardwick said after the win, the Tigers' 17th in a row at the MCG that equaled Melbourne's all-time record from 1955-56.

"We've got some players playing really well at VFL level, I was really pleased with Corey Ellis' game tonight to come in and I thought Callum Moore showed some really good signs also.

"We had some stiff guys that didn't play this week that were quite easily in the selection frame; Connor Menadue is very close, Shai Bolton is close, Sam Lloyd.

"We're happy we've got ready-made replacements to come in and fill those positions."

Graham's left shoulder was noticeably dislocated when he mislaid a tackle on Crow Myles Poholke late in the third quarter.

He came from the ground in obvious pain and aided by a trainer before going straight into the rooms.

Butler spent most of the game struggling with a left ankle injury Hardwick said he "re-aggravated" in the first quarter but was forced to come back on in the fourth when the Tigers lost Broad.

Broad couldn't open his eye after being accidentally knocked in the face by young Crow Tom Doedee.

Hardwick said they would have scans over the weekend to determine the extent of their injuries and how long they would miss.

He also said he was impressed by the way the players responded to the adversity caused by the injuries, with Daniel Rioli further restricting their rotations when he was treated for a sore groin in the last term.

"There was a bit of shuffling the deck chairs there late," he said.

"Once again, we're proud of our players that not a lot of it comes from the coach's box.

"The players sort of assume the positions where they're needed, they make the right decisions at the right time.

"Trent [Cotchin] put himself down back, which allowed Corey Ellis to go on ball. It was just a smart move when he probably needed a bit of a spell.

"That's the pleasing thing and the growth of our side, I think, there was a bit of adversity in the last quarter and some of those guys will miss some footy, so it was a great result."

Hardwick said Rioli appeared fine after the game, and the result against the Crows had unearthed areas his side needed to work on.

"There's always room for improvement," he said.

"We didn't use the ball particularly well inside 50 tonight, especially in the first three quarters, which was causing a bit of grief in the box at various stages.

"We got a bit better towards the end.

"We're normally one of the better scoring sides inside 50 but the Crows managed to get numbers back and we couldn't quite equalise those numbers so we'll have a look at that for next week because GWS play a similar sort of style in that format so we've got to get that better."