Tigers, Eagles sweat on fitness of key players

Richmond and West Coast are sweating on the fitness of key players Dylan Grimes and Josh Kennedy for their next matches, which will come quickly amid 2020's second condensed footy frenzy.

Grimes (hamstring) and Kennedy (concussion) played virtually no part in the Tigers win over the Eagles from quarter time onwards on Thursday night at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast.

West Coast Eagle Josh Kennedy was injured early in the match against Richmond and did not come back onto the ground.Credit:Getty Images

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said Grimes’ hamstring was “minor” while Eagles coach Adam Simpson was doubtful Kennedy would play in the match against Essendon.

The Tigers play Fremantle on Wednesday and the Eagles play the Bombers on Tuesday.

“We think it’s on the minor end of the scale but we will have scans tomorrow or the day following,” Hardwick said.

“Dyl’s had some history [with hamstring injuries], so we have just got to be mindful. He is so important for us, one of the best defenders in the AFL so we have got to make sure he is right for when the whip’s are cracking.

“We are very conservative with these types of injuries, he’s such an important player to the way we play. We just want to make sure when he is back he is right.”

Dylan Grimes, left, injured a hamstring in the Tigers match against the Eagles.Credit:Getty Images

Simpson said of Kennedy: “It [four-day break] will make it difficult. Every case is different. We won’t be pushing it, whatever the docs say.”

Hardwick lauded the way his team stopped West Coast from playing their brand of footy.

“I was really pleased with our players' endeavour,” he said.

“Especially our pressure … West Coast, if they get to play the game their own way they’re really damaging.

“Our key forwards were incredible [not letting the likes of Jeremy McGovern and Tom Barass mark]. They didn’t take a lot of marks between them but not getting out-marked which is really important.”

Simpson said his side missed opportunities in the third term.

“It’s not good enough,” he said. “I thought we had a swing. We played a really good side in Richmond and they pressured us really well.

“They took eight more contested marks than we did. That’s part of our game but it’s not the only part.

“We didn’t stop their style of play as much as they did ours.”

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