Richmond Tigers have completed a remarkable second half turnaround to defeat premiership contenders Sydney Swans by 18 points, with the game ending Tigers 14.11.95 to Swans 11.11.77.
For the victors, Jack Riewoldt was superb kicking six goals and leading by example, while Swans’ star midfielder Dan Hannebery collected 29 disposals and was their best player.
After both teams kicked a goal apiece, Richmond skipper Chris Newman drifted down from defence to give his team a four-point buffer with this goal.
Just a minute later and Sydney were fortunate to be a point adrift after Adam Goodes appeared to impede Dylan Grimes on the goal line (see below) to shepherd through Gary’s Rohan’s long-range kick.
A simple set-shot major from Lance Franklin saw the Swans limp to a six-point lead in a rather dull first term.
Sydney burst out of the blocks after the break with three goals in only five minutes of play. Tom Derickx, Franklin and this wonderful set shot from Rohan put the Swans out to a commanding 24-point lead.
The Tigers hit back through Riewoldt, but the Swans had all the answers when Hannebery rounded off (see below) a superb move to reclaim a four-goal cushion.
Sydney controlled the majority of the term and dealt with the greasy conditions better than their counterparts to take a deserved 32-point lead at half-time.
The visitors desperately needed to respond at the start of the third term, and they did in emphatic fashion through a mercurial Trent Cotchin major (see below) and set shot from Brett Deledio.
The Tigers continued to make inroads on the scoreboard after ruckman Ty Vickery kicked an inch-perfect set shot and Brandon Ellis slotted this long-range goal to get Tigers to within seven points.
But two quick majors to Tom Mitchell and this outrageous long bomb from Swans star Luke Parker saw the hosts regain the momentum.
But the Tigers wouldn’t go away, and when Nathan Gordon slotted a goal, Riewoldt completed a fine grab and snapped (see below) and replicated the dosage minutes later with this clinical goal and suddenly scores were level.
It was an incredible quarter from the visitors, who deserved their two-point advantage heading into the final stanza.
The onus was on the Swans to rescue back the ascendancy, and although it took them a while to do so, they got themselves back on level terms with only five minutes remaining through this Kurt Tippett goal.
It looked as though the away side had ran out of gas, but another rousing resurgence that ended up with Riewoldt kicking his sixth and Ivan Maric’s soccer-esque goal put the game beyond all doubt as they ran out three-goal winners.
Next week Richmond will be hoping to continue their surge to finals football when they host Greater Western Sydney on Saturday afternoon at the MCG, while for Sydney they must regroup next Friday night at home to Port Adelaide.