An opening three-goal burst from Richmond set the scene as the reigning premier held a comfortable buffer thereafter against a spirited Hawthorn, finishing 11.12 (78) to 7.7 (49) winners at the MCG on Sunday afternoon.
With the early lead established, the Tigers did what needed to be done before cranking it up a notch to stretch the lead in the final term.
A late flourish, masterminded by the individual brilliance of Dustin Martin (28 disposals, one goal) and the constant threat of Jack Riewoldt (nine disposals, four goals), then put the finishing touches on a leisurely afternoon in the Melbourne sun.
Hawthorn, for its part, had competed admirably for the best part of three quarters. Tom Mitchell (37 disposals, four clearances) was workmanlike in the midfield, while Changkuoth Jiath (25 disposals, eight marks) was again commanding in the backline.
But the Hawks only had themselves to blame for a slow and sloppy start, one they couldn't make amends for afterwards.
While you couldn't fault Hawthorn's effort and application, you couldn't say the same for its skill and execution. Richmond kicked three of its opening four goals direct from turnovers, taking a 21-point lead into the first change.
By the time the Hawks cleaned up their act, a holding pattern had broken out. Neither side was able to string together consecutive majors for well over a half of action, with the Tigers managing to keep their marginal advantage intact.
It also kept Hawthorn at arm's length. Try as it might to reel in a Richmond side below its best, it failed to bridge the gap to anything short of 17 points after half-time and couldn't force the Tigers out of their comfort zone.
Martin then struck when the time was right. Twice in quick succession in the game's final quarter, he put the ball on a plate for Riewoldt to convert as Richmond stretched its lead into an unassailable one to kill off the contest.
Gladiator of the Match
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HAWTHORN 1.1 5.2 6.3 7.7 (49)
RICHMOND 4.4 8.7 9.8 11.12 (78)
Hawthorn: Breust 2, Brockman 2, Koschitzke, Morrison, O'Brien
Richmond: Riewoldt 4, Lynch 2, Castagna 2, Balta, Aarts, Martin
Hawthorn: Mitchell, Jiath, Hardwick, Impey, Phillips
Richmond: Martin, Cotchin, Riewoldt, Short, Bolton, Prestia
Hawthorn: Day (leg)
Hawthorn: Scrimshaw (replaced Day)
Richmond: Ross (Unused)
Crowd: 41,051 at the MCG