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Hardwick supports Tiger duo's penalties

Richmond AFL coach Damien Hardwick insists there is no story behind the story of Daniel Connors' sacking and Dustin Martin's suspension.
Hardwick supports Tiger duo's penalties
by NRL

By Guy Hand

MELBOURNE, July 5 AAP - Richmond AFL coach Damien Hardwick insists there is no story behind the story of Daniel Connors' sacking and Dustin Martin's suspension.

The pair were punished for arriving late to training on Tuesday - saying they had taken sleeping pills and slept through alarms.

Connors took his own prescription medication, while Martin took a friend's sleeping tablets and had also been drinking alcohol.

Connors has had a history of off-field strife at Richmond, and the 23-year-old's career at the club was terminated on Wednesday.

Rising star Martin was suspended for two weeks.

But the penalties have raised suspicions there may be more to the story than the club has let on - which Hardwick emphatically denied on Thursday.

"That's absolute rubbish," Hardwick said when asked if there was any more information about the incident that had been withheld.

"I asked the blokes straight in the eye what happened, and they gave us the truth."

Hardwick said he believed both penalties were appropriate, and the Tigers needed to take a tough stance with errant players if the club was to reach the heights they wanted.

Hardwick also said he had had no concerns over Martin's off-field behaviour prior to this week's events.

"This club has been in the wilderness for 20 years and we've got to do everything better than everyone else to get back where we need to belong," Hardwick said.

"We make no apologies for the hard stance."

The duo's sanctions will test the Tigers' playing stocks ahead of their clash with Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday.

Richmond were already without injured Jake King, Dylan Grimes and Tyrone Vickery, while midfielder Daniel Jackson was suspended by the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday for an on-field incident.




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