“Disaster” has struck Richmond in Thursday night’s elimination final against Brisbane, with star mid Dion Prestia subbed out of the match.
The man dubbed Richmond’s “trump card” made his way to the bench late in the second term at the Gabba.
Prestia was subsequently subbed out with an apparent hamstring injury in a “massive” blow for the Tigers’ finals hopes.
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“The loss of Dion Prestia is massive isn’t it?” Fox Footy’s Jason Dunstall said.
“Unfortunately he’s been plagued by these soft tissue injuries just when he starts to get continuity in his football.
“He’s their best midfielder by a country mile. He’s the one that drives it for them.”
Leigh Montagna feared Richmond’s midfield stocks looked “a bit thin” for the second half of their do-or-die clash.
“This is why Shane Edwards is the sub – he’s the guy you can just plug in and put into the midfield and maybe he makes a difference,” he said.
“Richmond have lost their trump card at clearances,” David King added.
“I’d be going after them.”
Montagna said Prestia’s injury, and the substitution of Lion Oscar McInerney after a nasty head clash, put a “real dampener” on what had been a brilliant first half.
“The Dion Prestia news is massive, for not only Richmond (tonight) but going forward if they win this game.”
Commentator, and Tigers great, Matthew Richardson described Prestia’s injury as a disaster.
“That’s a disaster if you are Richmond; their best midfielder Dion Prestia,” he said.
“Players know whether they’ve done a soft tissue injury – particularly if you’ve had them before.”
“It’s horrible news for the Tigers,” commentator Brian Taylor added.
“You’d wonder – he has hamstring history, he was the guy that got them back.
“If it is, you don’t come back in a week for those.”
Prestia has endured a wretched run with soft-tissue injuries in recent years, but managed 18 games this season – despite a heavy concussion sustained against Geelong.
“He had shrugged off that history of soft tissue injury with 18 games this season, but he’s out with that dreaded hamstring,” Fox Footy’s Jon Ralph said.
“He tore his hamstring in Round 1 … he’s clearly Richmond’s best midfielder.”
Prestia had been the player to spark the Tigers in the second term as Brisbane kicked three of the four early goals.
By half time, the Tiger had 12 disposals, six clearances, five inside 50s and almost 250m gained.