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AFL: Martin could miss Hardwick reunion

New Gold Coast coach Damien Hardwick is set for an early reunion with Richmond when the two sides clash on Saturday.

Hardwick left Richmond halfway through last season after guiding them to three premierships over a 307 game spell, citing he needed a break from the game.

That break was a short one as he took up a job with the Gold Coast just a few months later.

Hardwick’s aim will be to win another premiership with the Suns, but for this season at least, it will be all about making progress and looking towards the top eight.

The Suns can be backed at 41.00 to win the grand final in 2024.

Richmond will now go through a rebuild following the departure of Hardwick and they can be backed at 51.00 to win the premiership.

The atmosphere between the two camps could be frosty at Heritage Bank Stadium as Hardwick attempts to defeat his former club.

. What: Gold Coast v Richmond
. Where: Heritage Bank Stadium, Gold Coast
. When: 14:20 (AEST), Saturday 9th March 2024
. How to watch: Foxtel, Kayo
. Odds: Gold Coast 1.50, Richmond 2.60

Miller key for Suns

Gold Coast have a good record against the Tigers when winning the last three games, two of which have been on home soil.

All were under former coach Stuart Dew and Hardwick will be keen to keep the run going.

The last meeting on the Gold Coast saw the Suns win by just two points in a thriller. If it is to be a close one again, the Suns are 6.00 to win by 1-12 points.

Gold Coast have suffered a couple of losses in pre-season and will be keen to put things right and hit the ground running in round one.

Touk Miller will be a key player for the Suns in the opener, and for the rest of the season.

The midfielder will be out to stamp his authority on the game and he can be backed at 4.33 to produce 35+ disposals.

Martin concern for Tigers

Richmond are sweating on the fitness of gun midfielder Dustin Martin, who picked up a knock in training just days out from the opening clash.

The injury is not thought to be serious, but with two games coming up in quick succession, the Tigers may not take a risk on Martin.

Martin was key to Richmond’s success under Hardwick and will be a big loss if he sits out.

If Martin does get the nod, he can be backed at 7.00 to produce 30+ disposals against the Gold Coast.

The Tigers already head into the game without a couple of key players and could do with Martin in their side.

Star forward Tom Lynch is nursing a foot injury and will sit out, while captain Toby Nankervis has also been ruled out through injury.

It means that Sam Naismith will be handed a chance to shine after being handed a second AFL chance by the Tigers.

The Tigers have not won on the Gold Coast in their last two visits and new coach Adam Yze would love to snap that streak on Saturday.

They can be backed at 8.00 to do it in style by winning by 13-24 points.

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