|Brownlow Medal||3 Jack Riewoldt (RICH)||2 Toby Nankervis (RICH)||1 Dustin Martin (RICH)|
Richmond's best start to a season since 1995 continued on Monday night, with the Tigers coming from behind to defeat an injury-hit Melbourne side at the MCG. The Demons lost ruckman Jake Spencer to a shoulder injury in the first half but had a strong third term to take a 20-point lead into the last break. But Richmond rallied in the last term, and led by Jack Riewoldt kicked five goals to nil to win by 13 points, giving it its first 5-0 start to a season since 1995.
The match was played in front of a huge crowd of 85, 657 - the largest home-and-away crowd for a Melbourne match since 1964, and the largest for a Tigers game since 2009. Such a crowd will guarantee this as an ANZAC Eve fixture for some years to come.
Melbourne dominated the early minutes of the match, but it squandered opportunities with Jack Viney and Tim Smith missing shots, and a rushed behind seeing the Demons leading 0.3 to 0.0 after four minutes. Jack Riewoldt then set the scene for a great personal match with a beautiful left-foot snap sailing through the uprights, and then a right-foot snap from the opposite pocket doing the same to set up a nine-point lead for Richmond. The Demons worked their way into the match thereafter, and goals to Tom McDonald and Jesse Hogan had them ahead by three points going into time on. Jason Castagna restored Richmond's lead with a mark and goal but a long bomb from Jack Watts had Melbourne back in front by three points at quarter time.
Jack Riewoldt's fine match continued at the beginning of the second quarter, with another great snapped goal at the five-minute mark putting Richmond back in front. The game took an abrupt turn after that, however, as Christian Petracca, Hogan and Christian Salem all kicking goals over the next 10 minutes to give Melbourne a 16-point lead. The momentum then swung back in Richmond's favour, adding 1.3 to cut the margin to seven points. Each side other a further goal before the half-time siren and the Demons went into the long break leading by an even goal.
As well as having lost Spencer in the first half, the Demons also started the third quarter without Tim Smith, who had taken a knock to the ribs in the second term. With Melbourne down to two on the bench, the game was ripe for the Tigers' taking but it was the Demons who grabbed control, and goals to Jeff Garlett and Jayden Hunt saw them jump to a 19-point lead. Riewoldt kept Richmond within touch with his fourth goal at the 18-minute mark, but two further goals from Garlett and Hogan had Melbourne's lead out to a dangerous 23 points. The Tigers attacked strongly in the final minutes, but shots from Jayden Short, Dion Prestia and Shaun Grigg all missed, and it was the Demons by 20 at the final break.
Melbourne had done well with two players out of action in the third quarter but the Tigers came out fighting in the final term, and it was Riewoldt who sparked them, kicking his fifth after a mark at the four-minute mark. Richmond had regained the momentum, and the next 10 minutes saw Daniel Rioli and Dustin Martin kick majors to cut the margin to just one point. The Demons tried valiantly to hold on over the next 10 minutes, the two sides trading in behinds but that man Riewoldt again came to the fore at the 24-minute mark, marking and kicking a beautiful long goal from a very acute angle to put the Tigers six points ahead. Kane Lambert added a behind to make the lead seven and then Josh Caddy put a full stop on an impressive win with a goal at the 29-minute mark.
Riewoldt was probably Richmond's best, but Toby Nankervis (56 hitouts, seven tackles) was not far behind. For the Demons, Clayton Oliver (32 disposals, seven tackles) played another fine game.
The Tigers will face there biggest test of the season so far at the Adelaide Oval next Sunday, when they take on the Crows, who also have a 5-0 record. Melbourne will look to bounce back with a win against Essendon at Docklands on the same day, but without their two main ruckman, Max Gawn and Jake Spencer, it will be no easy task.
Richmond: Riewoldt 6; Castagna, Butler, Grigg, Rioli, Martin, Astbury
Melbourne: Hogan 3; Garlett 2; McDonald, Watts, Petracca, Salem, Hibberd, Hunt
BEST - AFL.COM.AU
Richmond: Riewoldt, Nankervis, Martin, Houli, Grigg, Caddy, Cotchin
Melbourne: Oliver, Hibberd, Hunt, N Jones, Frost, Petracca
BEST - THE AGE
Richmond: Riewoldt, Nankervis, Martin, Rance, Caddy, Ellis, Rioli, Grigg
Melbourne: Oliver, Hunt, Hibberd, Frost, Watts, Viney, Tyson, N Jones, Salem
Melbourne: Petracca (left knee), Spencer (right shoulder/right knee), Smith (ribs), Viney (right knee)
UMPIRES: Donlon, Fisher, Stevic
TELEVISION BROADCAST: Seven Network
COMMENTATORS: Basil Zempilas, Luke Darcy, Cameron Ling, Luke Hodge, Daisy Pearce
|12||Astbury, David||5||2||6||11||0||0||0||0||3||2||26y 57d||65||8|
|40||Butler, Dan||8||2||4||12||1||0||0||6||0||2||20y 325d||5||7|
|22||Caddy, Josh||11||2||10||21||1||0||0||5||2||1||24y 208d||100||80|
|46||Castagna, Jason||6||5||5||11||1||1||0||4||0||1||20y 286d||10||10|
|30||Conca, Reece||10||1||5||15||0||0||0||3||1||0||24y 255d||85||21|
|9||Cotchin, Trent||15||3||4||19||0||0||0||7||3||1||27y 17d||178||105|
|5||Ellis, Brandon||10||3||10||20||0||0||0||1||1||1||23y 264d||115||40|
|43||Elton, Todd||3||2||4||7||0||0||2||2||0||0||23y 360d||7||1|
|6||Grigg, Shaun||14||5||6||20||1||1||1||7||1||2||29y 5d||172||83|
|2||Grimes, Dylan||3||0||3||6||0||0||0||7||0||1||25y 282d||84||3|
|14||Houli, Bachar||14||3||10||24||0||0||0||6||0||2||28y 347d||154||35|
|23||Lambert, Kane||10||2||10||20||0||2||0||7||2||0||25y 149d||32||16|
|31||Markov, Oleg||2||2||6||8||0||0||0||1||0||2||20y 351d||9||1|
|4||Martin, Dustin||22||2||10||32||1||2||0||6||1||0||25y 302d||158||159|
|33||McIntosh, Kamdyn||7||3||2||9||0||0||0||4||0||0||23y 21d||33||8|
|37||Menadue, Connor||6||1||5||11||0||0||0||4||2||0||20y 217d||21||8|
|25||Nankervis, Toby||13||1||3||16||0||0||56||7||2||1||22y 255d||17||6|
|3||Prestia, Dion||9||0||11||20||0||1||0||2||0||1||24y 194d||100||31|
|18||Rance, Alex||6||4||5||11||0||0||0||2||2||2||27y 197d||155||8|
|8||Riewoldt, Jack||10||3||2||12||6||2||1||1||1||1||28y 175d||207||497|
|17||Rioli, Daniel||7||3||4||11||1||2||0||4||1||1||20y 8d||23||21|
|15||Short, Jayden||7||2||3||10||0||1||0||2||1||0||21y 90d||20||6|
|17||Frost, Sam||8||1||4||12||0||0||3||7||1||0||23y 239d||42||7|
|36||Garlett, Jeff||9||2||1||10||2||0||0||3||0||1||27y 264d||151||264|
|43||Harmes, James||10||2||8||18||0||0||0||8||2||2||21y 201d||31||18|
|14||Hibberd, Michael||18||6||9||27||1||0||0||0||1||0||27y 111d||85||12|
|1||Hogan, Jesse||8||1||3||11||3||0||0||1||2||2||22y 71d||44||91|
|29||Hunt, Jayden||17||4||7||24||1||0||0||4||3||0||22y 21d||24||5|
|39||Jetta, Neville||4||0||8||12||0||0||0||2||1||0||27y 71d||99||23|
|2||Jones, Nathan||7||1||17||24||0||0||0||5||2||2||29y 94d||228||108|
|24||Kennedy Harris, Jay||7||5||4||11||0||0||0||7||1||1||22y 34d||23||11|
|25||McDonald, Tom||11||2||9||20||1||0||0||1||0||1||24y 218d||109||9|
|18||Melksham, Jake||11||3||6||17||0||0||0||0||1||0||25y 238d||119||57|
|30||Neal-Bullen, Alex||10||1||11||21||0||0||0||9||0||0||21y 105d||20||11|
|13||Oliver, Clayton||8||3||24||32||0||0||0||7||1||5||19y 276d||18||6|
|5||Petracca, Christian||7||3||7||14||1||0||0||1||1||2||21y 110d||22||19|
|3||Salem, Christian||9||3||8||17||1||0||0||4||0||0||21y 283d||35||11|
|38||Smith, Tim||2||0||2||4||0||1||0||3||1||0||26y 63d||2||1|
|33||Spencer, Jake||1||0||3||4||0||0||13||2||1||1||27y 197d||38||8|
|15||Stretch, Billy||9||4||10||19||0||1||0||3||1||0||20y 228d||32||7|
|12||Tyson, Dom||9||4||15||24||0||0||0||3||1||3||23y 320d||75||38|
|23||Vince, Bernie||18||2||4||22||0||0||0||2||0||1||31y 204d||197||111|
|7||Viney, Jack||7||2||16||23||0||1||0||6||0||2||23y 11d||75||20|
|4||Watts, Jack||9||4||9||18||1||0||11||1||1||0||26y 29d||142||129|