Power loss helps charge up Richmond - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Power loss helps charge up Richmond

By Guy Hand 01/06/2007 07:28:19 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane co-captain Luke Power's injury misfortune has presented hapless Richmond with a real chance of tasting AFL victory for the first time in more than nine months.

Influential midfielder Power was forced out of the Lions side to play the winless Tigers at Telstra Dome on Saturday night because of a thigh injury.

Power has averaged more than 22 touches a game for Brisbane this year.

His loss has given the Tigers, who have made an art of finding new and inventive ways to get beaten this season, a huge opportunity to finally break through.

"He was a bit sore this morning so we've had to go without him," Lions coach Leigh Matthews said of Power.

"He played last week but he seemed to have signs of a slight strain.

"Luke's been a terrific leader for us, so we'd much prefer to have him in."

News of Power's demise comes just 24 hours after a flurry of betting activity saw the Tigers firm into unlikely favourites for the match.

TAB SportsBet had rolled the Tigers' price in to $1.70 by this morning before news of Power's injury had become public.

They remained at $1.70 on Friday night, with Brisbane at $2.07.

The Lions have lost their past three matches, while the Tigers are 0-9 this season and haven't won since round 21 last year.

Since that win, Richmond have suffered defeats as diverse as their 157-point embarrassment by Geelong and an unlucky eight-point loss to Essendon last week.

Matthews said no decision had been made on who would replace Power.

The Lions have brought all three emergencies to Melbourne - Scott Harding, Joel Macdonald and Cameron Wood - with Harding most likely to be called up.

Brisbane had made five changes before losing Power, including the return of veteran Chris Johnson from injury.

Lions youngster Rhan Hooper, who went AWOL from the club for two months at the start of the year, has been promoted for his first match this season.

Richmond assistant coach David King said the Lions clearly planned to play a running game.

"I see their changes have been built on the Telstra Dome style of football with speed, there's no doubt about that," King said.

"They've put something in place to curb the Telstra Dome factor.

"It's not really a problem for us. We just need to get over there and perform.

"At 0-9, it's not about what other teams are doing, it's about what we're doing."

Richmond have made three changes, dropping out-of-form Andrew Krakouer and midfielder Danny Meyer, as well as last week's debutant Jack Riewoldt.

Tall forward Jay Schulz and midfielders Dean Polo and Matthew White have been promoted.

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