Tom Lynch kicks the game-levelling goal in the final minutes of Thursday night's draw against Carlton.

A Tom Lynch goal in the dying seconds has seen Carlton and Richmond draw in the 2023 season opener.

The lead changed five times throughout the course of the match, and it looked like the Blues were home and hosed until Lynch struck, tying up the scores at 8.10 (58) to 8.10 (58) just before the final siren.

Goals were traded within less than two minutes to open the game – Dustin Martin and Zac Fisher the snappers – and the two ends of the MCG took their turns to let out a six-month, pent-up, roar.

Footy was back.


Richmond's forward half defensive pressure was immense in the first quarter, but players failed to take full advantage of their opportunities, a somewhat rusty Jack Graham (after an injured toe affected his pre-season) spraying two wide and Tom Lynch missing a straightforward set shot.

By contrast, Carlton relished in its limited chances in attack (13-21 inside 50s), kicking 3.1 to take a nine-point lead into the first break.

Round 1 Highlights

The Blues speed troubled Richmond on the wings, with Jesse Motlop, Adam Saad and Zac Fisher showing clean sets of heels and often catching the Tigers on the hop on turnover.

After such a blistering start, the 30-16 scoreline at half-time reflected the fumbly and panicked nature of parts of the game, as both sides struggled to make strong and effective entries inside 50.

The key defenders rose in prominence as the game progressed; Dylan Grimes holding up one end, while Lewis Young worked nicely into the game down the other.

Daniel Rioli was simply superb off half-back, with the Blues having no answer to his pace and dare, while George Hewett played an underrated and crucial role in the midfield for Carlton.

Whether it was settled nerves, first-game concentration lapses or just shaking off the rust, the sluggish first half was blown out of the water after half-time, the Tigers springing to life with some clever ball use to kick three straight goals.

In all, seven goals were kicked in that third term, after just six collectively in the first half, with Tom Lynch and Charlie Curnow asserting their dominance in their respective forward lines.

Player of the Match

Who was best on ground in our Season Opener against Carlton? Vote to win a 2024 team-signed guernsey, team-signed footy, VIP match-day experience & photo with the team.


RICHMOND 1.4 2.4 7.8 8.10 (58)
CARLTON 3.1 4.6 6.9 810 (58)

Richmond: Lynch 3, Rioli jnr 2, Martin, Riewoldt, Bolton
Carlton: C. Curnow 3, Fisher, Silvagni, McKay, Owies, Docherty

Richmond: Rioli, Taranto, Bolton, Lynch, Graham
Carlton: Hewett, Young, McKay, Saad, Cripps

Richmond: Graham (shin/calf), Rioli jnr (cut head)
Carlton: Nil

Richmond: Jack Ross (replaced Marlion Pickett in the third quarter)
Carlton: Lochie O'Brien (replaced Lachie Cowan at three-quarter time)

Crowd: 88,084 at the MCG