Martin fires Tigers to win over North - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Martin fires Tigers to win over North

Greg Buckle 24/04/2011 09:50:32 PM Comments (0)

Second-year Richmond hard man Dustin Martin barged his way to a 33-possession game for the Tigers, leading them to a thrilling nine-point win over North Melbourne.

Richmond's come-from-behind victory was their first win of the AFL season, with Martin in stunning form in midfield and up forward where the 19-year-old kicked four goals.

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick praised key forward Jack Riewoldt (five goals) and midfielder Trent Cotchin, who had four centre-clearances among his 24 possessions and chipped in with two vital goals in the last quarter.

The coach couldn't hide his admiration for the Castlemaine raised Martin, who monstered North's powerful defender Michael Firrito out of the way on several occasions and seemingly came of age in what Hardwick described as his best game for the club.

Trailing by 23 points early in the second quarter and 13 points at the last change, the Tigers blasted seven straight goals in the final term to North's 2.8 to win 17.10 (112) to 14.19 (103).

"He's a good player. He's had a terrific season (including nine goals)," Hardwick enthused.

"Just his work in and around stoppages. The contested-possession rate in games with the substitute rule has increased and it's bringing guys like Dustin back into the game.

"He was very very good tonight. He led from the front and some of those goals he managed to create and also kick, it was a terrific result for us."

Hardwick said Martin's 26th game for the Tigers was his best so far.

"Scoreboard-wise and probably possession-wise as well," he said.

"Just what he did with the ball."

Second-year coach Hardwick said it was one of the best wins he'd been involved in with at Richmond.

But he warned inconsistency continued to prove costly for the Tigers this season, including crucial errors which led to North leading by 23 points early in the second quarter on Sunday.

"We've just got to iron those out. The top four sides, they'll just steamroll you," he said.

However he said for a young playing group, there was nothing quite like standing in a circle in the change rooms singing the famous "yellow and black" line in the team song.

"We've struggled over the course of the last two or three seasons," he said.

"To get young boys singing that song, there's no better theme song I don't think.

"It gets everyone up and to see four or five new players in there singing the song for the first time is a really great effort."

Hardwick said Cotchin, 21, was "elite" at the centre bounces and would only improve.

"We still feel he's only scratching the surface of what he's capable of," Hardwick said.

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