Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has launched a passionate defence of Tom Lynch in the face of some media criticism of the Tigers' key forward.

Lynch has managed 10.9 from an average of 10 disposals this season in Richmond's disappointing 3-3 start to their latest premiership defence.

Last week against Melbourne, Lynch was held scoreless for the first time since his high-profile move to Richmond as a restricted free agent at the end of 2018.

07:46 Mins
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Hardwick previews Western Bulldogs

Damien Hardwick addresses the media at the Swinburne Centre, ahead of the Round 7 match against the Western Bulldogs.

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Hardwick said the 28-year-old spearhead is filling the role required by his team.

"Tom could go to another club and be more dynamic as a player, there's no doubt," Hardwick said.

"He comes to our club, he fulfils a role. What we determine that role is, allows us to win games of footy.

"There's no doubt he could play in a different format, a different system, and get All-Australian honours.

"But the reality is he comes in and he's happy to fulfil this role and he gets two premiership medals as a result of that."

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Round 3: Lynch kicks three

Watch Tom Lynch's highlights from the Round 3 match against Sydney.

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Lynch kicked 63.31 from 25 games in his first season at Richmond and 32.27 in 19 games - with reduced quarter lengths - last year.

Former Essendon player Matthew Lloyd and Herald Sun columnist Mark Robinson have again led the chorus of commentators questioning Lynch's output in 2021.

"People can judge him for what it is but we know what we value as a (club) and Jack Riewoldt is the same," Hardwick said.

"We're a system-based side and he plays according to our system.

"If people want him to kick 60-80 goals, that's not going to happen.

"We've been down that road as a Richmond footy club and we finished ninth.

"But the fact of the matter is that Tom and Jack play very specific roles within our system that allow us to win a lot of games of footy."

00:58 Mins
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Round 2: Tiger pressure traps Hawks

The Tigers force the error from some nervy Hawks and find Tom Lynch in the perfect spot.

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Hardwick conceded both Lynch and Riewoldt could perform better at stages "like every other player in the league".

Riewoldt has kicked a club-best 19 goals this year, ranking third in the AFL.

"The fact of the matter is Tom is a very valued player in our system and what we choose to pay that player is what we think he's worth - end of story," Hardwick said.

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PF: Big grab from Lynchy

Tom Lynch takes a strong mark and converts.

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