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VFL Tigers come home with a bang

VFL R7: Team song Watch the Tigers sing the song after a fantastic win over the Box Hill Hawks

Richmond VFL stormed home in the final term to secure an eight-point, come-from-behind win over Box Hill at a sunbathed Swinburne Centre on Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers’ discipline had waned in the second term, allowing the Hawks to kick six goals to nil, before the home side steadied and streaked to an 11.12 (78) to 11.4 (70) win.

The spirits of the early-rising Tiger fans watching at home and at the ground would have been buoyed by the form of two thirds of the Club’s premiership winning “Mosquito Fleet”.

Dan Butler was injected into the midfield to great effect, with his blistering speed, cleanliness and dynamism breaking the game open in the third term and helping cement victory.

Butler was back to his best - harassing with nuisance, chasing with intent and attacking with potency.

He finished the game with a team-high three goals and 17 disposals.

Daniel Rioli returned from injury and had a big hand in Richmond turning the tide in the third term.

Rioli’s trademark pressure was there for all to see, leading the team with seven tackles and 18 disposals, splitting his time between forward and midfield.

Tigers versus Hawks - the only undefeated side in 2019 versus the 2018 premiers.

Both sides pride themselves on the defensive aspects of their game, and Richmond was stingy once again in the opening term, holding Box Hill scoreless.

Butler provided the early spark, hitting a forward 50 stoppage at pace and then finishing with a classy snap on his left for the opening goal of the game.

Patrick Naish has been a name on many Tigers’ fans lips and he further enhanced his reputation, wowing the crowd with a genuine first-quarter hanger.

Richmond VFL key pillars, Jacob Ballard and Tom Silvestro combined for the other major of the opening term.

Silvestro is a running machine and when Ballard hit-up at the footy and wheeled into the corridor, the flash of Silvestro streaming inside 50 filled his vision, and he found him.

The Tigers were at their stingy, stifling best in the opening term, however the Hawks turned the tables in the second.

Jarryd Roughead floated through his side’s opening major, shunting the Hawks into action.

Box Hill goaled again before the restart, courtesy of a free kick in the goalsquare.

The Hawks captured the lead soon after, then piled on another three majors, flipping its 13-point quarter-time deficit into a 22-point lead by half-time.

The ball was well and truly in Richmond’s court to keep its unblemished record intact and it needed a spike in intensity after the main break.

Uncharacteristic moments of ill-discipline crept into the Tigers’ game in the second quarter, and the Hawks happily capitalised.

Richmond needed a spark and in stepped Dan Butler.

Butler’s speed, aggression and desire set the benchmark for others to follow, and follow they did.

Rioli worked his way into the game and provided the impetus for the opening goal of the third quarter with his trademark pressure.

The Tigers’ #17 smothered a ball in congestion on the Punt Road wing, which led to the hosts surging the ball forward, with Butler receiving a free kick inside 50 via a marking infringement.

Butler delivered the goal, however Box Hill hit straight back.

The Richmond coaching staff switched the magnets around at half-time and flipped Ben Miller forward to help his side gain some aerial bite inside 50.

Miller repaid the faith, after snapping a goal in the term and engaging the Hawks’ chief interceptor in Kieran Brand and bringing the ball to ground.

Brand collected eight first-half marks, of which four were direct intercepts and helped the Hawks get the game played on their terms in the second quarter.

He was less influential after half-time.

The Tigers and Hawks traded majors in the third term, before Miller’s goal broke the trend and set his side in motion.

Naish had a hand in the next goal, once again highlighting his evolution as a player.

He won a crucial contest in defensive 50, which sent a wave of Tigers surging through the corridor, with the ball ending up in the hands of Butler, who strolled into the open goal.

The Tigers got some speed back in the game and cashed in with a late goal to nuggety forward/midfielder, Mav Weller.

Richmond arrested back the lead and were ahead by two points at the final change – an advantage they wouldn’t surrender.

Rioli’s quicksilver hands put Blake Grewar into space early in the final term, and Grewar snapped truly from long range.

The Tiger Army found its voice and willed its side home.

Mabior Chol shared the ruck duties with Callum Coleman-Jones for the game and roared into action with two goals in the last quarter.

The first was courtesy of a free kick and 50-metre penalty at a centre bounce, the second oozed class and composure.

Jake Aarts extracted the ball from a forward-50 stoppage in the Jack Dyer Stand pocket, fed the ball out to Chol who cruised to close range and sealed a memorable win.

Box Hill cut the margin to eight points late in the game, but the Tigers were able to control the tempo of the game, win the territory battle and close it out.

 

RICHMOND    2.2       2.4       7.10     11.12 (78)

BOX HILL       0.0       6.2       8.2       11.4 (70)

Goal Kickers:

Richmond: Butler (3), Chol (2), Thompson (2), Grewar, Miller, Silvestro, Weller

Box Hill: Ross (3), Minchington (2), Byrne, Doreian, Jones, Kilpatrick, Roughead, Walker