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VFL Tigers fend off another contender

VFL R9: Miles ahead of the rest Watch Anthony Miles' highlights in the Round 9 win over Collingwood.

“Whenever I have a nightmare it isn’t in colour. It’s always black and white, the colours of the meanest, toughest club ever to run on to a football field. Collingwood.”

Words of the legendary, Jack Dyer.

‘Captain Blood’ never hid his dislike for arch-rival Collingwood and infiltrated Victoria Park numerous times throughout his illustrious and decorated career.

He would have loved what he saw from an uncompromising, well-drilled, stingy and connected Richmond VFL outfit, which saluted by 68-points at Victoria Park against Collingwood.

The Magpies simply couldn’t hang with the Tigers in the final term, as the ladder-leaders stormed home, eclipsing their rivals, 17.13 (115) to 6.11 (47).

The modern-day VFL Tigers went behind enemy lines at Vic Park, in a top-of-the-table clash against the Magpies on a sunny, and chilly winter’s day.

The match was built as a blockbuster by many outside of the Swinburne Centre, but internally, it was business as usual, and simply another chance to display the Tigers' brand.

In a round where we celebrated the contribution the indigenous community has made to Australian Rules Football, many eyes were locked on Daniel Rioli.

The game was ear-marked as Rioli’s first full game on the road back from the left-foot injury he sustained in the dying minutes of last year’s premiership, and he didn’t disappoint.

While working a three-way midfield/forward rotation with Shai Bolton and Tyson Stengle, Rioli warmed into his work in the opening half, then exploded in the third term.

Rioli ignited the crowd early in the third term after soaring above the pack in the right forward pocket, dragging down an absolute classic.

He then coolly went back and eased through his first of the day, which gave the Tigers fans a reason to clap furiously and warm-up their hands in the process.

Rioli would mark strongly later in the term, but his set-shot just missed to the near side.

He soared on another occasion, but the ball just slipped through his grasp, but it was clear, Daniel Rioli was well and truly back.

The Tigers started the game full of running, as Anthony Miles manoeuvred his way through a forward-50 stoppage and dribbled through his first in front of the raucous Magpie faithful.

Noah Balta added to the pain of the hosts, as he floated back with the flight, and clutched onto a brilliant mark, which was duly matched by his right-foot finish.

Jacob Townsend and Patrick Naish added two for the Tigers, but Collingwood started to even the ledger through the midfield, and started to eat into the margin.

The second term panned out much like the first, as both sides traded the momentum back-and-forth.

Tyson Stengle bobbed up and skidded through his first, while the returning Nathan Drummond cruised down from half-back and slotted a classy goal from 50.

It was a warming display by the luckless Tiger, who was resolute down back and was impenetrable at times, while providing some dynamic rebound.

Richmond clung to a 17-point lead at halftime, and was able to withstand a barrage of Magpies’ forward-50 entries.

The ball was camped in Collingwood’s forward-half for large chunks of the second term, but the Magpies rarely navigated through a water-tight Tigers' defence.

The third term started with a Rioli hanger, and ended with a goal to Anthony Miles, his second of three for the day, as Richmond skated to a 38-point three-quarter-time lead.

The Tigers are a four-quarter side and showcased how brutal they can be with a six-goal final term, which sunk their hosts, and ensured a 68-point win.

It was the emerging mosquito fleet that did the damage in the final term, with goals to Sam Lloyd (two) Shai Bolton, Liam Baker, Tyson Stengle, and finally Miles.

The unrelenting and sheer ferocity of the attack on the ball, ball-carrier and any Magpie in the vicinity from the likes of skipper, Steve Morris and Jake Aarts really set the tone, and the troops fell in behind them.

Anthony Miles showed no ill-effects from having a week-off, finishing with 43 disposals, three goals, 11 marks and eight clearances, in a clear, best-on-ground display.

Miles had a bevy of midfielders riding shotgun, in Sam Lloyd (37 disposals and two goals), Corey Ellis (23 disposals), Shai Bolton (22 disposals) and 23rd man, Charlie Thompson (21 disposals).

Richmond’s brand however is not built around numbers, it’s built around effort, intensity, connection and pressure, all of which were on-display in abundance at Victoria Park.

COLLINGWOOD  2.2  4.7  5.8  6.11 (47)

RICHMOND         4.2  7.5  11.10  17.13 (115)


Collingwood: Gallucci 2, Hellier 2, Chippendale, Tardrew

Richmond: Miles 3, Baker 2, Lloyd 2, Stengle 2, Balta, Bolton, Coleman-Jones, Naish, Drummond, Rioli, Silvestro, Townsend