Richmond are back near full strength and starting to purr again.

With triple-premiership stars Dion Prestia and Nick Vlastuin returning from illness on Saturday, a week after Dustin Martin returned from personal leave, Richmond is lurking at the foot of the eight and look a threat in 2022.

Damien Hardwick's men are now 5-4 after defeating Hawthorn by 23 points at the MCG on Saturday, banking a third consecutive win 17.15 (117) to 14.10 (94). 

The Tigers were the best team for most of the game, but left the door ajar for a Hawthorn upset late before Jason Castagna and Shai Bolton put the game to bed with two minutes to play.

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Round 9: Castagna kicks the sealer

Jason Castagna seals the game after relentless Tiger pressure.

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The Hawks led by a kick at quarter-time and then kicked the first three goals of the second quarter to open up a 25-point lead, looking unstoppable when Jacob Koschitzke kicked two goals in two-and-a-half minutes. 

But just when Hawthorn had all the momentum, Richmond kicked two extraordinary goals out of nowhere. Jack Graham hit a bobbling ball from off the ground as if he was at the Kop End of Anfield, rather than the Punt Road end of the MCG. 

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Round 9: Graham capitalises off the deck

Jack Graham soccers through his first for the day.

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Then Toby Nankervis plucked a ball out of the ruck and snapped from the pocket, while Max Lynch hung off him. Ten minutes later, Martin burst inside 50, cut inside with the ball under his arm and snapped a goal to put the Tigers back in front.

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Round 9: Nankervis rips a beauty out of the ruck

Toby Nankervis spins out of trouble and kicks one out of the ruck contest.

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From there, Richmond was rarely troubled. Martin built into the game, just like he did last week, looking better the more minutes he banked. Shai Bolton was as influential in turning the game around as anyone on the ground. And Prestia produced another performance that underlined his value to Richmond's engine room, finishing with 28 disposals, eight clearances and 510 metres gained. 

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Round 9: Slippery Shai snaps through his first

Shai Bolton slides out of trouble and kicks his first for the day.

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While the class of the Tigers eventually overwhelmed Hawthorn, there was a game within the game that was as enthralling as any match-up we've witnessed thus far in 2022.

James Sicily went to Tom Lynch at the opening bounce and rarely left his side for the next 120 minutes. Seven days after Lynch punished Collingwood star Darcy Moore for giving him too much space, Sicily was aggressive with his positioning from the outset. 

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Round 9: Lynch bags four

Watch Tom Lynch's highlights from the Round 9 win over Hawthorn.

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It was the clash of two heavyweights. Mike Tyson versus Evander Holyfield. Both were among the best players on the ground, despite the influence of the other. Lynch feasted again to finish with four goals from 16 disposals and six marks, but it would have been much worse if it wasn’t for Sicily. 

Lynch is now six ahead of Carlton star Charlie Curnow in the Coleman Medal with 31 majors on the board after nine rounds, after kicking 17 goals in the last three rounds. After kicking 32 goals in 2020 and 35 last year, Lynch has roared back to his All-Australian best in 2022. 

Player of the Match

Vote for your Player of the Match from our Round 9 clash for the chance to win a 2022 team-signed guernsey, VIP match-day experience in 2023 and photo with the team!

VOTE

HAWTHORN 4.4 8.5 9.8 14.10 (94)
RICHMOND 3.3 9.5 12.9 17.15 (117)

GOALS
Hawthorn: Breust 3, Lewis 3, Koschitzke 2, Wingard 2, Gunston, O'Meara, Lynch, Worpel
Richmond: Lynch 4, Martin 3, Riewoldt 3, Bolton 2, Soldo 2, Graham, Nankervis, Castagna

BEST
Hawthorn: Sicily, Newcombe, O'Meara, Breust, Impey
Richmond: Prestia, Lynch, Martin, Nankervis, Bolton, Baker

INJURIES
Hawthorn: Gunston (ankle), Scrimshaw (shoulder)
Richmond: Balta (hamstring issue)

SUBSTITUTES
Hawthorn: Connor MacDonald (replaced Jack Gunston in the second quarter)
Richmond: Shane Edwards (replaced Noah Balta at three-quarter time)