Richmond has produced a performance 4 weeks overdue, delivering their first win of the season over a lacklustre North Melbourne, in front of 29,224 at Etihad Stadium on ANZAC Night. Jack Riewoldt starred for the victors, kicking 3 goals as his side eventually cruised to a 36-point win, delighting the small contingent of Richmond faithful.
The first quarter was a fairytale and nightmare in one for the Kangaroos, as they jumped the Tigers early kicking the first three. But just as impactful was an elbow injury to Brent Harvey, whose subsequent absence was immediately noticeable.
The early goals to David Hale, Andrew Swallow and Jack Ziebell created an eerie sense of deja vu for the, so far, disappointing Richmond, who failed to start well in almost all previous games. This made all the more dangerous as Adam Simpson and Gavin Urqhart repeatedly ran the ball with ease through the corridor to deliver the ball inside 50 unconstested. But the final few minutes looked more promising from the youthful Tigers, kicking the last two of the term to stay in touch.
From here Richmond slowly clawed their way into the drivers seat, as effective tap work by ruckman Adam Pattison and hard ball gathering by Brett Deledio set up Riewoldt to add his name to the scoring sheet.
The third quarter essentially broke the game open, as the pace of Richmond, seemingly non-existant in their first four games, literally overran the lethargic North Melbourne outfit. A late hamstring injury to Matthew Richardson looked dangerous for the Tigers medical staff, who tentatively sent the star back out for the final term. But his impact, similar to the Kangaroo’s, was little in the last quarter.
2 running goals to Joel Bowden, and a gem to Mitch Morton from the boundary, buried any hope of a North Melbourne comeback.
Youngsters Urqhart and Swallow worked hard all night for the Roos, but their team let them down with constant poor disposal. For Richmond, it was Riewoldt, Robbie Nahas and Daniel Jackson who starred for the four quarters.
Next week North Melbourne take on Collingwood in the Friday Night blockbuster, while Richmond cross the Murray to play Sydney at the SCG.
North Melbourne 3.2 5.6 6.9 7.16 (58)
Richmond 2.2 6.7 10.12 13.16 (94)
North Melbourne: Swallow 3, Hale, Warren, Thomas, Edwards
Richmond: Riewoldt 3, Bowden 2, Newman, Deledio, White, Moore, Collins, Tuck, Morton, Nahas
North Melbourne: Swallow, Urquhart, McIntosh, Petrie, Simpson
Richmond: Riewoldt, Jackson, McMahon, Nahas, Rance, Deledio, Tuck
North Melbourne: Harvey (dislocated elbow), Hansen (hamstring)
Richmond: Richardson (hamstring)
Umpires: James, Hay, Meredith
Official crowd: 29,224 at Docklands