Damien Hardwick had doubts over whether he should let Daniel Rioli play in the AFL clash with Greater Western Sydney before the Richmond small forward kicked the match-winning goal.
Rioli entered Saturday night's contest under intense scrutiny after he and teammate Shai Bolton were involved in a nightclub scuffle a week earlier.
Tigers coach Hardwick was concerned the excess stress on Rioli during the build-up might lead to injury, but the 24 year-old convinced his mentor he was fine to play.
Rioli was quiet for most of the Marvel Stadium contest, but pounced on a loose ball to kick the goal that put Richmond in front with a few minutes left.
The score helped the Tigers escape with a 13.9 (87) to 12.11 (83) win after they had trailed by as much as 28 points during the third quarter.
"(Rioli) got his hands on a couple of really important balls and his last quarter was quite special," Hardwick said post-match.
"It was great for him to finish off with that goal that put us in front.
"He had a tough week, there's no doubt, and he just wanted to get out there and play.
"I was sort of a little bit worried about him last night - we went back and forward a couple of times to see how he was feeling from a stress point of view - but he was adamant he wanted to play.
"He played a really important part to help get us over the line."
Rioli was left with a black eye from the nightclub incident, while Bolton suffered a broken wrist and did not play.
Richmond cleared the pair of wrongdoing, declaring that they were provoked by a patron who made comments about Rioli's partner and that they were standing up for her.
The AFL integrity unit is conducting its own review and has not yet announced the findings.
"I was worried about him (Rioli) because the increased stress can lead to injury, but he was pretty cool, calm and collected on the phone," Hardwick added.
"He's just one of those guys who just loves playing the game and he just wanted to play."
Australian Associated Press