Richmond won ugly against Essendon in the annual Dreamtime match on Saturday night and in the process notched up a three-peat of their own. Throughout the week leading up to the showpiece match of the Sir. Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round, Richmond were wary of Essendon and that was proven throughout the match with patches where the Bombers showed the Tigers up around the contest, but it was Richmond who looked dangerous all in all.
The Bombers were cursed by costly skill errors on the night and this allowed Brett Deledio’s class and Shane Edwards’ tenacity to spark the Tigers in the first term as they raced to a 20-point lead. Their dominance seemed to lapse in the second term though as they laid just 12 tackles. Essendon meanwhile took advantage of the Tigers bruise-free approach and clawed their way back off of some hard tackling. Despite this, the class difference was evident and whilst Jack Riewoldt made up for a 20m set shot miss with a 50m laser minutes later; it looked like it was Dustin Martin who could be the difference when the intensity faded.
Damien Hardwick gave credit to Essendon in his post match press conference admitting that his team still had some work to do. Even when the Tigers shot out to a 41-point lead at the last change, the Bombers still shaded Richmond in the tough stuff in the last term. There were genuinely nervous times for the Tiger faithful throughout the first 10 minutes of the last term, with Richmond unable to make any scoreboard impact until about the 12 minute mark. In something more pleasing though, the Tigers’ accuracy in front of goal looked to be rectified from the previous weeks – that they had more goals than behinds is an encouraging sign to say the least.
The third straight victory continues Richmond’s mid-season revival and should give them great confidence heading into a crucial clash against North Melbourne on the rebound, in Hobart next Friday night. They also approach the eagerly anticipated match within reach of the top eight. The Kangaroos have always seem to have the wood over the Tigers in recent history, but Richmond seems well placed to take it up to the ladder leaders with a chance to win their fourth match in a row and hand the Kangaroos back-to-back losses.
Final Score: RICH 16.9.105 to ESS 10.7.67.
TOP 3 TIGERS:
1. TRENT COTCHIN: The Skipper had another excellent night. He netted 29 disposals, three intercepts, five marks, five clearances, five tackles, 19 pressure acts, five score involvements and two goals.
2. SHANE EDWARDS: The Richmond livewire put on an inspired display. He netted 26 disposals, four intercepts, four marks, four clearances, three tackles, 22 pressure acts, seven score involvements and one goal
3. DUSTIN MARTIN: Led Richmond’s revitalised engine room in the newly-fashioned inside midfield role. He netted 38 disposals, 10 marks, seven clearances, six pressure acts and nine score involvements.
What were your thoughts on the game?