History will tell you that Richmond matches up well against Sydney and the Tigers embodied key lyrics from the Club’s theme song – “...risking head and shin” and “fight and fight and win” – to notch up just their second win of the season.
The thrilling and dramatic one point victory, with thanks to a goal from Sam Lloyd after the siren, snapped a six game losing streak for Richmond. Whilst a more convincing win would have been great in terms of percentage, the ferocity and intensity displayed to seal the narrow win, will instil confidence in the entire playing group moving forward.
Damien Hardwick said in his post match press conference that it’s up to the players what they do with the win – either be happy and not perform next week or the more likely scenario, use the win as momentum; especially in conjunction with the first three quarters against Hawthorn in the previous round.
Whilst Sydney showed their class at various times throughout the match, it was Richmond who had the better of the match, denying the Swans the stoppages that they have become accustomed to with more careful offensive transition. The Tigers also dominated uncontested ball (48 more uncontested possessions and marks) and had the upper hand in clearances and contested ball. Not only that; but the Tigers finally won the tackle count – an area where they have been really struggling in so far this season.
It was a game of incredible momentum shifts and a glut of wasted chances that threatened to inflict more pain on the Tigers – they butchered the ball in front of goal, kicking 8.11 from set shots to the Swans’ 10.3. The last 20 seconds of the game was a moment to savour for the Tigers though as the ball bounced at right angles to Jack Riewoldt in the middle of the ground and he found Ben Griffiths, who set up Lloyd for the winner.
Prior to Lloyd’s moment of glory for his besieged team, Sydney would scream out to a 19-1 lead in the first term and the signs looked ominous for Richmond, but they showed grit, fortitude and resilience. By the main break, the Tigers had a narrow lead that stretched out to 13 points early in the third quarter before the Swans replied with five in a row before the Tigers got the next five. Sydney would kick four in a row however, to take an 18 point lead at the last change before a 7.2 to 4.1 last 30 minutes got Richmond the most dramatic win.
The mood at Richmond will undoubtedly be buoyant as the Club looks to kick start their season when they travel to Perth to take on the winless Fremantle next Saturday night, a team that is in a not too dissimilar position to Richmond. The Tiger faithful will be hoping that their team’s kicking for and around goal doesn’t cost them, like it so easily could have against Sydney.
Final Score: RICH 14.17.101 to SYD 15.10.100.
TOP 3 TIGERS:
1. BEN GRIFFITHS: The forward came of age and played the best game of his career to date. He finished with 20 disposals (15 uncontested), seven marks, eight pressure acts, nine score involvements and a career-high five goals.
2. BRETT DELEDIO: The stand-in Captain was enormous and full of poise. He finished with 34 disposals (15 in the first quarter and 11 in the second quarter), eight marks, 12 pressure acts and nine score involvements.
3. ANTHONY MILES: The midfielder was incredibly influential, especially in the final term. He finished with 31 disposals (11 in the first quarter), 10 clearances, 11 pressure acts, six score involvements and one goal.
What were your thoughts on the game?