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Tigers hold off Kangaroos

Ashley Browne, AFL Media  May 13, 2018 3:49 PM

Round 8: Highlights Watch the highlights from the Round 8 win over North Melbourne.
Josh Caddy celebrates one of his three first-half goals on Sunday - Richmond Tigers,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Etihad Stadium

Josh Caddy celebrates one of his three first-half goals on Sunday

RICHMOND has withstood a fierce challenge from North Melbourne to return to the top of the ladder with a 10-point win at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers led by 26 points in the second term after four goals on the trot, but the Roos hit back hard in the third quarter and four goals to one saw them slash the margin to four points at the final change.

Richmond won 12.10 (82) to 11.6 (72), with Kangaroos spearhead Ben Brown missing two gettable set shots late in the contest.

The victory didn't come without a huge scare for the Tigers (7-1), who after leading by 20 points at half-time, had to withstand a furious challenge from the Kangas (4-4), who momentarily hit the front in the final term.

It was a highly entertaining affair and the Kangaroos showed great effort and pluck in front of a healthy Mother's Day crowd of 29,113.

But as has been the case apart from the round two blemish against Adelaide, the Tigers absorbed the best their opponent could throw at them and got the game back on their terms to win 12.10 (82) to 11.6 (72).

They remain on top of the ladder ahead of West Coast on percentage, but it does set up a tantalising clash with the Eagles in Perth next Sunday.

The Tigers will be well pleased to get away with this one. North had the last nine inside 50s of the match but couldn't get the goal to really put the frighteners up the Tigers.

The home team did have the clear best player on the ground in midfielder Ben Cunnington, who had an all-time AFL record 32 contested possessions and 38 disposals overall.

Richmond countered with skipper Trent Cotchin, who had 37 touches (22 contested) and was terrific in the clinches all day. He needed to be, because North stopper Ben Jacobs put the clamps on Dustin Martin, who had just 16 touches.

Martin was frustrated at times, but still played his role and when moved to the forward line in the last term he had a hand in goals to Cotchin, Dan Butler and Josh Caddy that helped wrest the ascendancy back Richmond's way.

Nick Vlaustin (12 marks) and Alex Rance were outstanding for the Tigers in defence, while Caddy (four goals) and Kane Lambert (three) were also great contributors.

Jed Anderson (28 disposals) and Luke McDonald (24) were prolific for North Melbourne, which will be disappointed not to have claimed the four points, but based on what was served up on Sunday, the Kangaroos are vastly improved on last season and would have lost no friends.

NEXT UP

The Tigers get on a plane, traveling to a likely sold-out Optus Stadium for the top-of-the-table clash with West Coast in seven days' time.

NORTH MELBOURNE     2.0       5.2       9.3     11.6 (72)
RICHMOND                  3.4       8.4       9.7     12.10 (82)

GOALS
North Melbourne:
  Atley 2, Wood 2, Brown 2, Waite 2, Simpkin, Higgins, Macmillan
Richmond: Caddy 4, Lambert 3, Riewoldt 2, Castagna, Cotchin, Butler

BEST 
North Melbourne:
  Cunnington, Jacobs, Anderson, Higgins, Macmillan, McDonald
Richmond: Cotchin, Caddy, Houli, Vlastuin, Lambert, Lloyd

INJURIES 
North Melbourne
: Nil
Richmond: Nil

Reports: Luke McDonald (North Melbourne) reported for making high contact with Richmond's Kane Lambert in the first quarter

Umpires: Deboy, Hosking, Chamberlain

Official crowd: 29,153 at Etihad Stadium