In its first official practice match of the pre-season, Richmond VFL fell to Collingwood by six points, 13.12 (90) to 14.12 (96) on Tuesday at the Swinburne Centre.

Six months on from 2023’s VFL Wildcard Round that saw the Tigers' season ending at the hands of Collingwood, the Swinburne Centre hosted a rematch between the two famous sides under the blazing sun.

It was a strong start from the Magpies that saw them convert three goals to nil in the opening 10 minutes of the game.

Collingwood went into quarter time with a 25-point buffer – reward for their fast start and accuracy around goals – while the Tigers’ lack thereof saw them enter the first break without a major.


Richmond started quickly in the second quarter, as a quick snap from co-vice-captain Chad Harris in the opening minute found the chest of Archie May inside 50 for the Tigers’ first goal of the afternoon.

A much more competitive Richmond outfit took the field after quarter time, however, there was little scoreboard nourishment.

Mohammed Yassine broke the deadlock via a trademark crumb and snap from the top of the goal square, but an instant Magpie response saw the Tigers down at the main break by 31 points.

Like the second quarter, the Tigers hit the scoreboard early in the third, as AFL-listed draftee Kane McAuliffe streamed inside 50 and finished beautifully for the first goal of the second half.

An instant response from the Magpies sparked a determined reaction from the Tigers. With superb efforts early on from big men Liam Thomas and Archie May, it was clear they were up for the fight.

A centring ball inside 50 by Sam Davidson following Tyler Sonsie's burst of pace found Judson Clarke uncontested within striking range.

Clarke then converted, as the Tigers won the next centre clearance and converted back-to-back majors for the first time in the match via an impressive turn and finish by Archie May from outside 50, his second goal of the day.

Following their slow start, the Tigers started to take control of the game through their contest and ball movement.

Expanding on his performance, McAuliffe found Cumberland inside 50, slotting the third in a row, and the fourth in the quarter for the Tigers.

Bursts of individual brilliance coupled with improved accuracy around goals brought the Tigers back into the contest.

Maurice Rioli Jr’s plucky major was only momentarily nullified, as Tom McCarthy pounced on a turnover in the centre square and found Archie May inside 50, who slotted his third goal of the afternoon.

The impressive six-goal blitz in the third quarter had the Tigers fighting and within striking distance.

In the final term, a Cumberland mark and finish just inside the goal line marked his second goal of the afternoon and put the Tigers within 14 points. But the Magpies then flexed their muscles and put on three straight majors.

With the scores sitting at 63 to 96 halfway through the fourth quarter, it seemed as if the Magpies would sail to victory, however, life was brought to the game again when a scrappy inside-50 entry ended up in Tom Brindley’s hands, who streamed into a vacant goal square for his first major. 

The Tigers then made it back-to-back goals after a quick clearance by McAullife out of the centre bounce made its way to Cumberland, whose crafty work in the pocket found Tyler Sonsie, who neatly snapped one through on his left to give his side a chance.

The Tigers were hanging around.

A Liam George launch from half-back made its way over the top of a contest, and Noah Cumberland found himself swooping on the loose ball and launching it deep inside 50 to Sam Davidson at the top of the goal square, who made it three in a row for the Tigers in as many minutes.

There was a pulse, and the Tigers were fighting.

Following on from his fantastic final term, Noah Cumberland took courageous mark in the pocket, played on and kicked his third of the afternoon. The Tigers converted their fourth in a row and were within a single kick of the Magpies.

In the end, the Tigers’ second-half surge and last-quarter fightback weren’t enough to overcome the Magpies' fast start.

Richmond's next pre-season challenge will be North Melbourne on Saturday, March 2 at the Swinburne Centre from 11.00am.

Richmond 0.6 2.8 8.9 13.12 (90)
Collingwood 5.2 8.3 11.11 14.12 (96)

Goalkickers: Cumberland (3), May (3), Yassine, Brindley, Davidson, Clarke, Sonsie, McAuliffe, Rioli Jr