Richmond’s Tom Lynch set for MRO scrutiny

Richmond forward Tom Lynch will learn on Saturday whether he has a case to answer for his tussle with St Kilda’s Dougal Howard in the Tigers’ AFL semi-final victory.

Lynch gave away a 50-metre penalty for throwing Howard to the ground, then appeared to drop his left knee on the defender’s neck and shoulder area during the third quarter of Friday night’s game at Metricon Stadium.

The Tiger is likely to come under scrutiny when match review officer Michael Christian releases his findings on Saturday but given the low impact, a suspension for next Friday’s preliminary final against Port Adelaide appears unlikely.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick played down the incident, saying he “wouldn’t have thought” the forward would be in trouble for the “minuscule” incident, while defending Lynch’s aggression.

The power forward has already attracted the attention of the MRO on several occasions this yea but teammate Kane Lambert didn’t think Lynch needed a talking to.

“I am not sure that conversation will happen – I think Tom’s a mature guy and he reviews his game,” Lambert told AFL Nation on Saturday.

“Jack (Riewoldt’s) done a lot of work with him over the years, he’s growing in that regard.

“We love Tom playing aggressive and I’m sure that we’ll get a similar result for him next week when he’s hopefully lining up for us – which I think will happen.”

Lynch previously received a fine for misconduct on Brisbane’s Alex Witherden and two separate fines for striking Gold Coast’s Sam Collins and Jarrod Witts.

He was later sent to the AFL tribunal for a striking charge against Essendon’s Michael Hurley – and was ultimately cleared.

AFL legend Leigh Matthews told Melbourne radio station 3AW Lynch should be sent to the tribunal as the incident constituted “rough play” – but didn’t think it deserved a suspension.

Tigers skipper Trent Cotchin could also be looked at for catching St Kilda’s Zak Jones around the neck with a tackle in the second quarter, but played down the incident on Saturday.

“If your intent is just to tackle and it happens to slip high, then that is part and parcel of the game,” Cotchin told 3AW.

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