An eight-goal-to-one final term led to a gritty 37-point win for Richmond VFL over Port Melbourne on Saturday afternoon at ETU Stadium.
Sam Tucker was a late inclusion for Richmond, but made the most of his opportunity with his first five-goal haul in the Yellow and Black, three of them coming in the final quarter onslaught.
The icy north-westerly was howling from the end named famously after Borough royalty, "Fabulous" Fred Cook, and the home side capitalised on the wind advantage in the opening term with six goals to Richmond’s five.
The result ultimately hinged on which side took its chances against the wind which the Tigers did in the first quarter. They sailed home with their fourth win of the year, the final score reading 19.10 (124) to 12.15 (87).
Momentum in the game ebbed and flowed between the two sides, but Richmond put the foot down after three-quarter time with an unbeaten seven-goal run that blitzed the Borough.
Jack Ross, Tyler Sonsie and Thomson Dow led the midfield charge, with strengths and assets that complement one another.
Sam Banks was another youngster who showed maturity beyond his years, kicking two goals dripping with poise and polish.
In his first, he tracked the bubbling ball to the boundary line after being released into space by Dow. On his last step before crossing the line, the pacy wingman set the Sherrin on a path to goal and watched it sail through on the breeze.
Jack Sexton had key moments in the last quarter, hunting the ball and man and ensuring the ball lived in Richmond’s front half, and also finishing off his fine defensive work with his second goal.
Bigoa Nyuon had a tricky day at the office as Port Melbourne rolled out a short forward set-up, however, Nyuon rose to prominence in the last quarter. The emerging key back spoilt or marked the ball when it entered his domain, acting as a thorn in Port Melbourne’s side.
The first quarter was a shootout, with 11 goals kicked collectively. The Tigers were led up forward by Jake Aarts and Matthew Parker who kicked four of the Tigers’ five first-quarter goals.
Aarts kicked the opening two goals of the game, showcasing his energy and craft inside 50 and also at the centre bounce.
Matthew Parker provided a valuable presence in the air and at ground level and was dynamic in the front half.
Ross enjoyed his deployment to the inside midfield, spreading hard from congestion and using the ball by hand and foot with calmness and precision.
Dow rode shotgun to Ross in the centre square, utilising his cat-like agility to slip away from the outstretched grasps of Port Melbourne midfielders and send the ball Richmond’s way.
Debutant Lachlan Johnson was clean and creative forward of centre, and had a direct hand in two of the Tigers’ goals in the first quarter. Johnson, son of triple-premiership Lion, Chris Johnson shares similar attributes possessed by his champion father.
Port Melbourne conjured up answers to Richmond’s goals, taking in a one-goal lead into the first change. But the Tigers got the ball rolling instantly in the second term with Sam Tucker soccering through a goal from close range which kick-started Richmond’s goal run.
Tucker marked strongly on the lead and most importantly, converting his set-shot.
Feisty forward, Sexton kicked his first goal in the Yellow and Black soon after, before Noah Cumberland slotted his second major of the game.
Cumberland finished with three goals and was an imposing target in the final term.
It was an electric surge of goals, which saw Richmond lead by 25 points.
Port Melbourne, however, surged and kicked the final two goals of the quarter, slicing the margin to nine points by half-time.
The Borough had the wind in the third quarter, making the most of the advantage with three goals and snatching the lead by the final change.
Richmond conjured up just one goal against the wind in the third quarter as opposed to the five they kicked in the first.
The Tigers’ lone goal kicker for the quarter was Jake Aarts, who finished the game with three goals.
Aarts’ proclivity to exert pressure was key to Richmond’s dominance in the final term and its victory.
PORT 6.1 8.6 11.14 12.15 (87)
RICH 5.1 10.3 11.6 19.10 (124)
Richmond: Tucker (5), Cumberland (3), Aarts (3), Banks (2), Parker (2), Sexton (2), Henderson, Young