Polak makes successful return for Tigers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Polak makes successful return for Tigers

By Sam Saracino 06/03/2009 11:57:24 PM Comments (0)

Richmond's Graham Polak made a successful comeback to AFL in the Tigers 52-point loss to St Kilda at Deakin Reserve in Shepparton on Friday night.

Polak sat out the first half and then come off the bench to play a large part of the second half in the Tigers' 16.13 (109) to 9.3 (57) loss.

He finished with six possessions, five of them coming in the last quarter on the wing.

Acting coach David King said the club was thrilled for Polak to get through his first competitive match since sustaining a serious head injury when hit by a tram last June.

"We are thrilled for him that he got through the game," King said.

"He is just happy that he got through without incident and he can now get on with playing footy."

King said it was too early to discuss the future plans for Polak.

"It is a bit early to talk about when he will play next, but the plan will be to build on it. At the moment we just wish him the best in his comeback to the game," he said.

"He played 20 minutes and he is now collecting his thoughts. We will see where he is at in the next 24 hours."

St Kilda was able to establish an early advantage by kicking the final three goals of the first term to head to quarter time with a lead of 19 points.

The Saints - with the majority of their star players in the line up - extended their lead to 25 points by half time.

Richmond remained in the contest when it booted three of the first five goals of the third quarter.

However, the Saints steadied with two of the remaining three goals to extend their advantage to 33 points at the last change.

In the last quarter, St Kilda did as it pleased and eventually ran out winners by 52 points with Brendan Goddard booting his fourth goal as the final siren sounded to end the match.

For the Saints it was the usual suspects of Lenny Hayes, Nick Dal Santo, Leigh Montagna and Sam Fisher who proved the stars.

Richmond had few winners on the night, but Jay Schulz, Richard Tambling and Jordan McMahon can hold their heads high after good performances.

Both teams got through the match without any injuries, with Richmond likely to welcome back several of the notable absentees from the match.

The Tigers went into the NAB challenge match without 12 of its best 22, including Matthew Richardson, Nathan Brown, Nathan Foley and Ben Cousins, while St Kilda was missing skipper Nick Riewoldt, Steve Baker and Sean Dempster.

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