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Punt Road to Glory: Round 18

Punt Road to glory: R18 Watch match highlights from the Round 18 win over Greater Western Sydney.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 23: Jack Riewoldt of the Tigers celebrates during the 2017 AFL round 18 match between the Richmond Tigers and the GWS Giants at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 23, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Jack Riewoldt celebrates one of his two goals at the MCG on Sunday

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 a wet win over GWS in Round 18...

RICHMOND has reclaimed a top-four spot, overcoming a slow start on Sunday to out-muscle Greater Western Sydney by 19 points in dismal conditions at the MCG on Sunday.

The Giants opened Sunday's clash in sparkling form, dominating the first quarter to lead by 20 points at the opening break.

But when steady rain began to fall at the start of the second term – it became torrential at patches in the second half – the contest was turned on its head.

With Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin leading the way, the Tigers wrested control of the midfield battle, kicking six consecutive goals in less than a quarter and a half to set up their 9.10 (64) to 6.9 (45) victory.

Martin (31 disposals, 11 clearances and one goal) and Cotchin (27 disposals and seven tackles) were outstanding for Richmond, while Nick Vlastuin (21 disposals, 11 marks and eight rebound 50s) and Brandon Ellis (23 disposals and six rebound 50s) were creative playmakers from half-back and Alex Rance was impassable deep in defence.

After kicking the game's opening three goals, GWS were held scoreless from the 22-minute mark of the first quarter until the 17-minute mark of the third term, when Nick Haynes finally broke their drought.

The Giants scored two goals in the final term to Richmond's one to reduce the Tigers' 26-point three-quarter time lead, but never seriously threatened to snatch the game.

The Giants' loss could be further soured, too, with star forward Toby Greene reported for a first-quarter jumper punch that appeared to catch Rance on the chin. Midfielder Dylan Shiel also left the ground late in the game nursing his right arm and took no further part in the game.

Richmond's win was its 11th for the season and helped the Tigers climb to fourth on the ladder, level with the third-placed Giants (10 wins and two draws) on 44 premiership points and just five percentage points behind.

The Giants have won just one of their past six games – but have had two draws – and, in a season where they have admittedly been hard hit by injury, need to rediscover their best form if they want to have a serious impact in the finals.

Callan Ward (a game-high 37 possessions) never stopped trying to hold off the Richmond tide in the second half despite a lack of support from his teammates.

Ward's co-captain Phil Davis took the points against Richmond spearhead Jack Riewoldt (two goals) – although Sunday's conditions favoured him – while Dylan Shiel (22 disposals and nine clearances) and half-backs Nathan Wilson (22 possessions and seven inside 50s) and Zac Williams (28 possessions) were the Giants' next best.

More to come

RICHMOND                            0.2   4.6   8.8   9.10 (64)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY          3.4   3.5   4.5   6.9 (45)


Richmond: Riewoldt 2, Martin, McIntosh, Lambert, Castagna, Rioli, Caddy, Nankervis 
Greater Western Sydney: Haynes, Patton, Greene, Whitfield, Kelly, Ward


Richmond: Martin, Cotchin, Vlastuin, B.Ellis, RanceLambert
Greater Western Sydney: Ward, Davis, Shiel, Wilson, Williams


Richmond: Nil
Greater Western Sydney: Shiel (right arm)

Reports: Toby Greene (GWS) reported for striking Alex Rance in the first quarter  

Umpires: Rosebury, Mitchell, Mollison

Official crowd: 33,467 at the MCG