The night began in a similar fashion to the way it had the Saturday afternoon previous for Richmond, with Collingwood kicking the first four goals of the match. The Tigers were not to be denied this time though and showed outright desperation to secure the victory over their arch rival. The smother from Trent Cotchin in the first term, described on 3AW as ‘a game-changing smother’, wasn’t far wrong – Richmond would go on to kick 14 of the next 21 goals of the game, with Ty Vickery kicking the ice-breaker – as they went about outworking Collingwood all over the ground. The perfect skills from Collingwood in the opening 12 minutes of the game; inextricably fell away quite dramatically and Richmond used this to their advantage.
Richmond was the very definition of ineffective and uncompetitive early, but the Tigers regrouped and kicked seven of the next nine goals to take a one goal lead into the main break. It was no certainty that they would maintain the upper-hand in the second half though. They were able to expose Collingwood –through their outside pace – that turned Collingwood into a fumbling, calamity of errors. The Tigers had a 13-point lead late in the third term, but came up against a Magpie fight back. It was reminiscent of their fight back earlier in the season that was led by Scott Pendlebury. However, just when the Tiger faithful thought they would be potentially facing the same fate – Pendlebury got injured and any momentum Collingwood had, ceased to exist.
The slow possession-based game that was self sabotage for the Tigers transformed into a more urgent, corridor-based approach – the desire to win for milestone men Dustin Martin and Taylor Hunt as well as embattled coach Damien Hardwick resembled the same desire Richmond had on that famous night when they beat Sydney by a point after the siren earlier this season – they were quick, direct and looked much more dangerous than their opposition. A match between 12th and 13th on the ladder was bound to be riddled with mistakes from both teams. The winner would be who used the ball better – and as Richmond spread from the stoppages with intent and in numbers – they were the better team. Next comes the highly-fancied Geelong – the track record is poor, but Richmond has nothing to lose.
Final Score: RICH 14.8.92 to COLL 11.11.77.
TOP 3 TIGERS:
1. ALEX RANCE: The best defender in the league was immense once more. He finished with 26 disposals (10 in the first quarter), 10 intercepts, eight marks, four pressure acts and four score involvements.
2. SHAUN GRIGG: The midfielder bobbed up and did the little things, constantly creating an option for his teammates. He finished with 26 disposals, six tackles, 14 marks, 12 pressure acts, 10 score involvements and one goal.
3. JACK RIEWOLDT: The forward was extremely impressive, for the most part. He finished with 12 disposals, six marks, four pressure acts, 10 score involvements and four goals.
What were your thoughts on the game?