RICHMOND is counting the cost of its devastating loss to Gold Coast on Saturday night with injuries to three key big men.
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick confirmed post-match co-captain Toby Nankervis had suffered a posterior cruciate ligament injury, while fellow ruckman Ivan Soldo has a broken thumb.
Power forward Tom Lynch left Metricon Stadium in the opening quarter with a hamstring injury.
“We mightn’t have any rucks next week, so it’s going to be a challenge,” Hardwick said following the two-point loss.
Richmond was already without injured trio Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin and Kane Lambert, along with suspended Nick Vlastuin, and Hardwick said the lack of experience showed when it counted.
The Tigers bombed numerous chances in the final quarter to put the game away after having a 40-point lead early in the third term.
“You’ve got opportunities to finish. It’s not as if they were hard shots on goal but you’ve just got to execute those,” Hardwick said.
SUNS V TIGERS Full match coverage and stats
“I thought we left numerous goals on the table. Lots. The fact of the matter is that if you leave the door open, you get hurt.
“It’s disappointing, but credit to Gold Coast.
“The second half of the game was very, very dominant and we just didn’t respond well enough and couldn’t execute the fundamentals of the game well enough, for long enough.
“Our ball security was really poor (in the fourth quarter).
“We just lost our composure…we’ve been an experienced side for a fair period of time but we’ve got a lot of inexperience in there at the moment.
“It was a tough day at the office, no question.”
Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew was all smiles after Noah Anderson piloted his team to win with a brilliant 45m goal after the siren.
Dew said he turned to assistant coaches Steven King and Brad Miller when Anderson went back to take his set shot.
“They said ‘he’s done the work, we’re backing him in’. So I jumped on board that train,” Dew said.
“They’re special games. When you win one like that, you just let it all out.”
Just days after he signed a two-year contract extension, Dew said his team was “built different” in 2022, coming back from 28 points behind at the last change.
“At half-time there’s two options, you can go your stack and try and get a response (or) in the end I probably went with the ‘I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed’ mode.
“I said ‘we’re just not trying hard enough’. It was as simple as that.”
With five minutes remaining and still trailing by three goals, Dew said his confidence rose.
“I reckon we were confident at that point,” he said.
“We knew we had to get a wriggle on…but we have scored heavily in final quarters.
“We knew we had the run.
“Although it was a little hectic, we were in more control of the situation than we were last week when we were 14 points up (against Collingwood) and should have won.”