A terrific team performance by the VFL Tigers saw them kick 23 goals in a 98-point demolition of Bendigo at Queen Elizabeth Oval on Saturday evening.
The Tigers dominated the midfield, had an even spread of goalkickers and were resolute in defence.
Liam McBean jumped to the top of the VFL goalkicking leaderboard with another bag of five. The tall forward made the most of his opportunities and came alive in the third term, slotting two set shots from tight on the boundary.
“We’ve stressed the point that if we can get it in there, we’re always going to score or keep it in there,” McBean said post-game, “so we were lucky enough to get a lot of inside 50s tonight and it showed.”
Sam Lloyd also impressed with four goals and was rarely beaten in one-on-one contests inside 50. He regularly out-bodied his opponent to score or set up teammates and had 23 disposals.
Chris Knights and Ben Lennon starred in the Richmond midfield and both set a high standard with their disposal. Knights collected a team-high 29 possessions, had 6 clearances, worked hard to get forward and booted two goals. Lennon also hit the scoreboard in his 25-disposal game and chased hard for six tackles.
Skipper Ross Young (29 disposals) had a strong first half and Brad Helbig (24) again led with his physicality in one of his best games of the season.
Todd Banfield lifted and finished with 20 possessions while Matt Arnot, Aaron Edwards and Shaun Hampson booted two goals each.
Defenders Ben Darrou, Matt Dea and Todd Elton shut down their respective opponents, provided drive from the back half and were instrumental in keeping Bendigo to a low score.
After being ruled out of finals contention last weekend, coach Tim Clarke was pleased with his side’s big win.
“We did have 17 AFL players, so you do expect to get a result like this against an undermanned Bendigo side,” he said.
“Credit to our guys for going out there and executing the type of footy that we wanted them to.”
After conceding the opening goal, the Tigers ran riot and piled on the next 10 majors to build a match-winning lead that was never threatened.
BENDIGO 1.2 4.5 6.9 7.12 (54)
RICHMOND 6.5 12.8 18.8 23.14 (152)
Goals: McBean 5, Lloyd 4, Edwards 2, Bathie 2, Arnot 2, Knights 2, Hampson 2, Helbig, Lennon, McDonough, L. Conca
Best: Knights, Lennon, Young, Helbig, McBean, Lloyd