Richmond 5.6 7.9 8.11 13.13 91
Sydney 0.2 2.7 6.9 8. 14 62
The Richmond Tigers have run out comprehensive 29-point winners over the Sydney Swans at the MCG.
Richmond have had the wood over Sydney in Melbourne in recent seasons, derailing their top four aspirations last season and spoiling the milestone 200th game of Ryan O’Keefe in 2010 in their last two meetings at the ‘G.
The Tigers menaced the Swans right from the first bounce. The tackling from those in the yellow and black was fierce and plentiful, and the pressure was immense.
Jack Riewoldt snapped the first goal for the Tigers after two and a half-minutes, then Dustin Martin kicked his 50th goal in his 50th game after catching Ted Richards in a tackle.
Riewoldt kicked his second soon after and things were looking ominous for the visitors and Richmond carved out a five-goal to none opening quarter.
Richmond lead the disposals by 77 at quarter time and the score could have been anything with 11 scoring shots to two, yet a wasteful 5.6 – including three posters – saw the Tigers lead by 36 to two behinds.
A costly turnover saw Daniel Hannebery finally get Sydney’s first goal early in the second. But Richmond regained ascendency through the middle thanks to a stellar opening effort by Nathan Foley, who early in the second quarter already had 15 disposals, including five clearances.
For the second week in a row the Swans defenders were tormented by a big man with a mullet as Ivan Maric added to his 19 hit-outs and pushed forward to slot a goal to give the Tigers a 40-point lead.
Lewis Jetta tried to take matters into his own hands – leading the Swans’ possessions and almost scoring with another electrifying shot on the burst from near fifty against the boundary, but it was touched on the line.
Josh Kennedy split two Richmond defenders to take a solid mark and kicked a crunch goal to reduce the margin to under six goals, yet the half ended with a string of behinds to each side.
Riewoldt was unable to finish off a polished piece of play from the Tigers but at least brought up the Tigers’ half-century.
Andrejs Everitt missed a sitter to leave the margin at 32 points at halftime, with Richmond dominating all over the ground, leading the disposals by 83 and Chris Newman rebounding at will as the spare man in the Tigers’ back line.
The third quarter saw Jude Bolton and Josh Kennedy starting to get their hands on the ball for Sydney. Everitt converted from an over-the-mark 50-metre penalty to reduce the margin to 27, before Heath Grundy reduced the margin to 21.
Ten minutes of hotly contested footy followed, with the Swans notably missing any dangerous forward targets, with Sam Reid and Jesse White held to five disposals between them, while Richmond were drastically slowing.
Shaun Grigg broke the stalemate when he slotted a steadying goal to kick the Tigers’ first goal for 39 minutes midway through the third term.
A further Swans charge with goals to Ben McGlynn and another to Kennedy saw the three-quarter time margin only 14 points and some nervous moments for the Tigers faithful.
Another vital goal to Grigg early in the last quarter, coupled with two in two minutes to Riewoldt, sealed the game for the Tigers.
Despite a momentary scare from a Swans goal after a 50-metre penalty upon Richmond activating their over-eager substitute, Richmond kicked the last three goals of the game to win by 29.
The Tigers had eleven players with 20-plus touch games and seven different goal kickers, while only Kennedy for the Swans, with 21, had any impact possession wise and was also the Swans’ sole multiple-goal kicker.
Has the sleeping giant been awoken? A huge hot-ticket match against the Bombers awaits the Tigers, while the Swans forward structure is looking shaky.
3 – Shaun Grigg
2 – Trent Crochin
1 – Nathan Foley
Richmond: Riewoldt 4, Grigg 3, Miller 2, Conca, Martin, Deledio, Maric
Sydney Swans: Kennedy 2, Dennis-Lane, Everitt, Grundy, Hannebery, McGlynn, Seaby
Richmond: Cotchin, Grigg, Foley, Tuck, Grimes, Martin, Deledio, Maric
Sydney Swans: Kennedy, Jetta, Bolton, O’Keefe, Hannebery
Sydney Swans: Parker (knee)
Richmond: Brandon Ellis replaced Jake Batchelor in the fourth quarter
Sydney Swans: Trent Dennis-Lane replaced Luke Parker in the third quarter
Umpires: Stevic, Ryan, Mollison
Official crowd: 40,352 at the MCG