RICHMOND 4.4 6.8 15.11 20.13 (133)
MELBOURNE 2.3 5.6 6.6 11.8 (74)
The Demons’ hellish start to 2012 has been plunged further into turmoil, having been comprehensively smashed by Richmond by 59 points at the MCG today.
Melbourne remained competitive with the Tigers until half-time, trailing only by eight points at the major break. Warning signs were visible however, with the Richmond midfield controlling the stoppages and clearances across the ground.
The resistance broke in the third, resulting in a nine goal to one quarter which completely obliterated the Demon defence.
In 2009, Jordan McMahon kicked the game-winning goal for Richmond after the siren against Melbourne, in a match many believed would have been more beneficial for the Tigers as a loss.
Three years later and the gap between these two developing sides could not be more distinct.
Melbourne Coach Mark Neeld will continue to search for answers, but this side is one that is beginning to look completely devoid of confidence.
The problems were everywhere. Skill errors, poor decision-making, serious lack of defensive pressure, lack of run off the half-back, coupled with a lack of direction from Melbourne’s ball use allowed Richmond to take over the game.
Melbourne brought the margin back some in the last quarter, but it was all too- little-too-late as Richmond’s rampant third term was more than enough to secure the four points.
Shaun Grigg was magnificent, starring with 37 disposals and a goal as he continually found space and provided Richmond’s back half with an option coming out of defence.
His run and carry set up several attacks, and the fact he was constantly by himself would have to be a concern to Neeld.
Further highlighting the disparity between the two midfields were the goals kicked from the two groups. Richmond, lead by Trent Cotchin’s three, contributed 10 goals to the tally, whilst Melbourne’s midfield could only add three between them.
Shane Tuck played his role to perfection, smashing into the packs and clearing the congestion with 17 contested possession and 12 clearances.
For Melbourne, there were very few shining lights. Jeremy Howe fought hard and finished with two goals. Damningly, he was the only Demon to gather more than 18 disposals.
They finished with 159 possessions less than Richmond, yet still managed to have 22 less tackles. It’s a dire indication of Melbourne’s work rate, and it is something that must get better if they wish to be competitive at all this year.
Melbourne might have won the ‘Scully Cup’ back in 2009, but there is no doubting who is closer to a different cup – the Premiership Cup – right now.
Votes: 3. Grigg, 2. Tuck, 1. Foley.
Richmond: Cotchin 3, Miller 3, Conca 2, Nahas 2, Deledio 2, Maric, Martin, Riewoldt, Houli, Vickery, Grigg, Jackson, Tuck
Melbourne: Clark 2, Howe 2, Trengove 2, Dunn 2, Watts, Jones, Sellar
Richmond: Grigg, Tuck, Foley, Conca, Houli, Deledio, Cotchin, Rance, Martin
Melbourne: Howe, Jones, McKenzie, Frawley
Melbourne: Grimes (Concussion)
Melbourne’s Lynden Dunn replaced Stefan Martin in the third quarter.
Richmond’s Addam Maric replaced Tyrone Vickery in the final quarter.
Umpires: Schmitt, Armstrong, Mitchell