Hardwick laughs off post-match exchange with Power fan

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Adelaide: Richmond coach Damien Hardwick laughed off a verbal exchange with a spectator who offered him a tissue after the Tigers’ titanic two-point loss to Port Adelaide on Friday night.

Damien Hardwick had some post-match banter with a Power fan.Credit:Getty Images

“The Port crowd are outstanding, I think they do a great job of supporting their boys and our Tiger fans do exactly the same.“

Despite the spectator run-in and Richmond copping their second straight defeat, Hardwick’s mood was decidedly jovial and upbeat post-match.

After looking miles shy of the mark in last Saturday’s shock 45-point loss to Sydney, Hardwick felt his Tigers took a big step forward in Adelaide, almost pipping a fellow premiership contender in a down-to-the-wire thriller.

“There was always going to be a sorry loser and that’s us,” Hardwick said.

“Our [forcing] turnover game was very strong, we transitioned the ball well and denied the vast majority of theirs.

“If you play deep into finals, you do start a bit slower and you’ll start to see us play a better brand of footy going forward.

“Overall I thought our intent and endeavour was very good.

“You always want to win, there’s no doubt about it, but I think the way we played the game was a step forward for us.“

Meanwhile, Port coach Ken Hinkley is optimistic Xavier Duursma has avoided a season-ending knee injury following an evening of physical carnage for the home side.

Connor Rozee, Aliir Aliir, Tom Jonas, Tom Clurey, Scott Lycett and Orazio Fantasia all soldiered on despite sustaining an array of corked thighs, rolled ankles and head knocks.

Zak Butters was subbed out in the fourth term after hurting his left knee while being tackled by Shane Edwards and Jack Graham but the bigger concern came when Duursma hyper-extended his right knee in the dying minutes, also while tackled by Edwards.

“Without being too optimistic they [the doctors] are positive it might not be the worst case with a knee injury and we all know what they are – ACLs,” Hinkley said.

“It doesn’t mean it’s not [an ACL] but at this stage there’s some optimism around that.

“There was a bit going on … Port Adelaide-Richmond games are just great games.

“I think we had six blokes who were copping it here and there, whether they be corkies, sore knees or ankles, there was a fair bit going on out there.

“That was a remarkable performance by us by the end of it.″⁣

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