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Punt Road to Glory: Round 5

Punt Road to glory: R5 Highlights of the Round 5 win over Melbourne.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 24: Jack Riewoldt of the Tigers celebrates a goal during the 2017 AFL round 05 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Melbourne Demons at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 24, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/AFL Media)
Jack Riewoldt celebrates one of his six goals in the Anzac Day eve clash

Richmond’s road to premiership glory in 2017 will be re-lived at through our match reports and video highlights of each Tigers win during the season.

In a special off-season series until Wednesday, November 22, you can again savour the sweet taste of Tiger success, culminating in the sweetest of them all – the Grand Final victory over Adelaide. Today we look back to the Anzac Day eve comeback win over Melbourne...

JACK Riewoldt was the hero on Monday night as Richmond overturned a 20-point deficit at the final change to beat Melbourne by 13 points and keep alive the Tigers' unbeaten start to the season. 

The star forward and two-time Coleman medallist was crucial in keeping Richmond in the contest until three quarter-time before delivering two goals in the final term as the Tigers won 12.16 (88) to 11.9 (75) at the MCG.

In front of the biggest ever crowd for a game between the sides (85,657 fans), Riewoldt finished with six goals and as the standout player in the Anzac Day eve contest as an injury-hit Melbourne limped to the final siren. 

The Dees had control of the game until three quarter-time but could never turn that into a big enough lead to completely douse Richmond's hopes. 

And when ruckman Jake Spencer (shoulder) left the field in the second quarter with injury to join Tim Smith (ribs) as being out of the game, Melbourne was left with just two rotations on the bench. 

The Tigers pounced on the weary and vulnerable Dees, with Dustin Martin (32 disposals) lifting in the last quarter and Bachar Houli (24), Josh Caddy (21, one goal) and Toby Nankervis (16 disposals, 56 hit-outs) instrumental in the victory.

"Melbourne to their credit is very good around the scrimmages and they were outstanding being down two players tonight," Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said.

"We were fortunate to come out on top and there's no doubt it would have been pretty damning to go up against."

It was Melbourne's third straight loss since its round two win over Carlton, and the Dees will rue the result after such statistical dominance (they led the inside 50 count 52 to 39 at the final change).

Former Bomber Michael Hibberd was his side's best player in his first game for the club with 27 disposals and six marks off half-back, while Clayton Oliver's emergence as a star midfielder continued with 32 touches. Jayden Hunt (24) and Dom Tyson (25) also played well, while Jesse Hogan booted three goals on return from suspension. 

But this night will belong to Riewoldt and the Tigers. 

The 28-year-old's brilliant first term was the main reason Richmond trailed by only three points at the first change given Melbourne had the bigger say on the contest in the opening term.

The star Tiger snapped two classy goals, and set up another for teammate Jason Castagna, but Richmond had just five inside 50 entries for the quarter. The Dees recorded 19, but couldn't make the most of their dominance as rain began to fall. 

The drizzle dried up in the second term but the deluge of Demon forward entries did not. With the weight of numbers pressed against Richmond it seemed the dam was about to burst soon – but the Tigers just kept hanging on. 

Hibberd's long-range goal in his first game since 2015 helped his new team to a 13-point advantage near the half-time break, in what would have been a lead that only somewhat represented Melbourne's dominance. 

But with seconds remaining and the ball deep in Melbourne's defence, young Demon Alex Neal-Bullen booted it out on the full and Shaun Grigg snapped the goal on the half-time siren.

The game continued to be played in Melbourne's half of the ground almost exclusively, and when Jayden Hunt's thrilling speed saw him break clear and slot a running goal 10 minutes into the third term to push his side 19 points ahead, it was hard to picture Richmond working their way back.

Riewoldt responded with an amazing solo effort – again – to snag his fourth major but Melbourne hit back with two quick goals to extend its lead to 20 points by the final change.

With Melbourne down to two players through injury, Richmond sensed a chance to overrun the tiring Dees. The fourth term started with a Riewoldt goal (who else?), before Daniel Rioli and Martin chipped in with majors to level things. 

The sides traded points before Riewoldt marked cleverly near the boundary line and converted the tough shot to give his team a match-winning advantage. Riewoldt's work was done and it had been some night at the office.

Richmond: The Tigers appeared to get through the contest without any major fitness concerns. 

Melbourne: New Demon Tim Smith went back with the flight of the ball in the second term and suffered a knee to the ribs. He left the field immediately and was taken to hospital. Melbourne's biggest concern will be ruckman Jake Spencer, who had a rough night that saw him finish on the bench with his arm in a sling after a shoulder injury. Christian Petracca had a scare in the opening term when he needed work on his left knee – the same one he had reconstructed in 2015 – but after some strapping he played out the game.

The Dees will look to bounce back when they head to Etihad Stadium to take on Essendon next week. Richmond faces the most difficult task in footy so far this year as they travel to Adelaide to meet the Crows at Adelaide Oval on Sunday in a clash between two of the competition's unbeaten teams. 

RICHMOND       3.1    6.6    7.11    12.16    (88)                 
MELBOURNE    3.4    7.6
    11.7    11.9      (75)

Riewoldt 6, Castagna, Butler, Grigg, Rioli, Martin, Astbury
Melbourne: Hogan 3, Garlett 2, McDonald, Watts, Petracca, Salem, Hibberd, Hunt

 Riewoldt, Nankervis, Martin, Houli, Grigg, Caddy, Cotchin
Melbourne: Oliver, Hibberd, Hunt, N Jones, Frost, Petracca 

Melbourne: Petracca (left knee), Spencer (right shoulder/right knee), Smith (ribs), Viney (right knee)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Donlon, Fisher, Stevic 

Official crowd: 85,657 at the MCG