At varying stages on Sunday afternoon, it looked like neither team knew how to win and Stan Alves said as much on ABC 774. For a team the Tigers were expected to beat, they struggled more than they perhaps needed to against the Suns. In many ways, it was a very lucky victory for Richmond to secure heading into the bye at 5-7; meaning that the Tigers are still alive with the faintest of pulses.
It was a game of massive momentum swings that was full of drama and a customary emotional rollercoaster for the Tiger faithful to endure. The Suns, who haven’t won since Round 3, showed tremendous desire. Whilst for long periods it looked as though the Suns were going to kill the Tigers’ season, they just couldn’t hang on. They didn’t truly surrender until the final three minutes of a clash that had virtually everything.
The Tigers led by a goal at quarter-time. Gold Coast then kicked four straight before Richmond responded with four of its own to take a 16-point lead into halftime. The Suns opened the second half with four unanswered goals en route to a 5.4 to 1.2 third term that shook Richmond to the core. The visitors led by 15-points halfway through a pulsating last term after Matt Rosa’s dribbled goal. The Tigers would go on to kick five of the last six goals to win by 17-points, as the class of Dustin Martin, Jack Riewoldt and Shane Edwards finally told.
It was Martin who was the standout – he got his side going, picked it up when the tide was against it and then went forward to monster Trent McKenzie and get Richmond across the line. Together with Brett Deledio, Edwards and the marking power of Ben Griffiths; it was just enough. Richmond finished with 111 more disposals, but only four more inside-50s. After the bye, Richmond will host Brisbane Saturday week in an effort to keep their minuet finals chances alive.
Final Score: RICH 17.12.114 to GC 15.7.97.
TOP 3 TIGERS:
1. DUSTIN MARTIN: The midfielder was enormous, especially when he shifted to the forward line. He finished with 38 disposals (10 in the first and 12 in the second quarter), five intercepts, four marks, six clearances, four tackles, 15 pressure acts, 11 score involvements and two goals.
2. TRENT COTCHIN: The inspirational skipper got up after spending two nights in hospital with a supposed kidney infection. He finished with 28 disposals (12 in the last quarter), three marks, five clearances, seven tackles, 17 pressure acts, 11 score involvements and one goal.
3. BRETT DELEDIO: The industrious midfielder was all class, giving his teammates first use of the footy. He finished with 22 disposals, three intercepts, five marks, 11 pressure acts, 10 score involvements and three goals.
What were your thoughts on the game?