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Furious Hardwick asks AFL to end game early

Richmond has defended its controversial decision to drag players from the ground in the dying stages of Thursday night’s ‘farcical’ NAB Challenge clash with Port Adelaide.

The Tigers were left furious when the AFL rejected a request to finish the match five minutes early due to injury concerns.

It left Richmond coach Damien Hardwick furious on the sidelines.

The controversy grew when stars Trent Cotchin, Alex Rance and Dustin Martin were taken from the ground, leaving the Tigers with just 15 players against the Power’s 18.

AFL operations boss Mark Evans then told the Tigers they needed to put their fit players back onto the ground, which ended up being 17 players.

Richmond General Manager of Football Dan Richardson joined 3AW Football after the game and said the club’s No.1 priority was the health of its players.

‘We were just trying to look after our players, bringing a few off the ground,’ he told 3AW.

‘As it turns out, and understandably the AFL were a bit concerned about that, fair enough given theres issues re broadcasters and so forth.’

Click PLAY below to hear Dan Richardson speaking with Scoop McClure

Cameron Ling branded the finish to the match a farce, while Tony Shaw was even more critical of the Tigers, labelling the move as embarrassing.

‘It’s embarrassing for the game,’ the Collingwood great said.

‘You can’t just ask the league to cut the game short.

‘You’ve got sponsors, you’ve got broadcasters, you’ve got people who have paid money to come and see the game…’

Click to PLAY Tony Shaw and Cameron Ling’s comments

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