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Richmond Tigers Duo Praised For Defending Their Partners During Nightclub Altercation

Richmond Tigers Duo Praised For Defending Their Partners During Nightclub Altercation

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick has come out and publicly backed his two players.

Max Sherry

Max Sherry

Richmond Tigers pair Shai Bolton and Daniel Rioli will not be sanctioned for their involvement in a nightclub altercation, the club has confirmed.

And on top of that, the duo have actually been praised for standing up for themselves and defending their partners after they were targeted by another patron.

It's understood Rioli's girlfriend was spoken to "inappropriately" which resulted in Rioli defending her before being punched in the face by the suspect.

That was when Bolton jumped in to defend his friend but ended up suffering a broken wrist following some push-and-shove.

Now Tigers head coach Damien Hardwick has come out and publicly defended his players, confirming that neither will face disciplinary action.

"I can understand the fixation on our players, but from our point of view, our player's partner is put in an inappropriate situation that she didn't feel comfortable with and Daniel stood up and tried to eradicate the situation and was punched in the eye," Hardwick told Fox Footy's AFL360.

"I don't condone violence, but the reality is put anyone in that situation and they're going to stand up for their partner and their mates. It was a difficult situation and it's not one we'd ideally want to be in, but the reality is we are where we are.

"We've spoken to the players at length and we go through a thorough process. We've got to the bottom of it with the evidence we've got and the story we have, so from our point of view we back in the players.

"We're disappointed it's come to that situation and we don't condone violence, but we understand these situations happen from time to time, but it doesn't make it right."

Shai Bolton and Daniel Rioli.

The Tigers will be without star man Bolton for up to four weeks with the 22-year-old having already undergone surgery on his broken wrist.

But while Hardwick knows the sticky situation isn't ideal for the club, he insists the players should be allowed to let their hair down while still being wary that their public profile can often draw unwanted attention.

"That's the problem. The media will become fixated on the outcome, but the situation is the players are entitled to live a life," Hardwick added.

"The fact of the matter is, they're different. They've got to sort of, they're really in a bubble in a way, they've got to be careful with where they go. And once again it's another reminder that these situations can occur when they go out."

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@paris_lawrence

Topics: Aussie Rules, afl, Australia