Liam Baker is tackled by Jack Viney in Saturday night's loss to Melbourne.

Melbourne stamped its credentials as a premiership contender, getting over Richmond 12.10 (82) to 6.12 (48) on a wet MCG on Saturday night.

A concussion to superstar Dustin Martin in his 250th game compounded the loss for Richmond which, in a similar fashion to the round three thumping at the hands of Sydney, was set up by Melbourne's superior pressure and intent at the contest.


Martin was kept out of the contest well before his night was officially ended in the middle of the third quarter.
Melbourne defender Michael Hibberd had limited the three-time Norm Smith medallist to just eight disposals before his injury, in a pivotal role in the Demons' victory. Martin, feted for his durability having only missed eight games of his career, is set to miss next Friday's clash with the top-of-the-ladder Western Bulldogs under the AFL concussion protocols. Premiership midfielder Kane Lambert is also likely to miss with a calf injury.


The Tigers kicked the first couple of goals of the match and dominated early play, looking like a side determined to remind everyone who is king, but from midway through the first quarter to halfway through the third it was the Demons that controlled play. 


Jack Riewoldt had booted 360 goals at the MCG before Saturday night, but none quite like the opening major of this clash.

With the turf slippery after some pre-game Melbourne rain, the Richmond spearhead at first nutmegged opponent Adam Tomlinson by kicking it through his legs while they scrapped for the ball.

But Riewoldt kept running and instead of picking the ball up, threw his left leg at the Sherrin from the boundary line and saw it skid through for a brilliant – and just as deliberate – goal for the three-time Coleman medallist. 

It was the Tigers' only highlight of the night, however.

The belief Melbourne picked up out of withstanding Richmond's early onslaught turned into something far more tangible in the second term. The Demons booted four unanswered goals for the quarter to take a 17-point lead into the main change.


The Demons weren't done there. Any sense they could get complacent, or open the door for the Tigers to reenter the contest, was put aside when Luke Jackson soccered through the first goal of the third term, and Melbourne's pressure continued to overwhelm a side renowned for the same quality.

The Tigers eventually broke a seven-goal run from the Demons, but with Martin struggling with injury, there was little spark for the yellow and black who slumped to a 30-point deficit at three-quarter time. The game safe, Melbourne pulled out some party tricks in the fourth term to cruise to another win.

Christian Petracca (38 disposals, 10 clearances, one goal) was best afield, but such has been the Demons' season, the load was evenly spread. Christian Salem set up the game with 23 disposals in the first half (he finished with 39), while Clayton Oliver (36) and Ed Langdon (32) were also important in Melbourne's midfield mauling. Liam Baker and Shai Bolton were lone hands for the Tigers.


MELBOURNE                     2.2      6.6       10.8      12.10 (82)
RICHMOND                        3.3       3.7       5.8       6.12 (48)

Melbourne: McDonald 3, Fritsch 2, Jackson 2, Neal-Bullen 2, Petracca, Pickett, Salem
Richmond: Edwards 2, Riewoldt 2, Aarts, Bolton

Melbourne: Petracca, Salem, Oliver, Hibberd, McDonald, Langdon, Viney, May
Richmond: Bolton, Baker, Edwards, Houli, Nankervis
Melbourne: Nil
Richmond: Lambert (calf), Martin (concussion)
Melbourne: Chandler (unused)
Richmond: Ross (replaced Lambert in the third quarter)
56,418 at the MCG

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