A hint of Spring in Autumn and a road trip to Avalon Airport Oval is what welcomed Richmond on Saturday afternoon for Round 3 of the VFL season.
The clash of the Tigers went the way of Werribee, as the hosts saluted to the tune of 86 points.
Richmond went goalless in the first quarter and showed pluck and fight in the second as the whiff of a comeback was in the warm May air, however that was quickly snuffed out by the seasoned Tigers of Werribee.
The scoreboard read 18.16 (124) to 6.7 (43) at the final siren.
Richmond officially unveiled two VFL debutants with Thomson Dow and Bigoa Nyuon suiting up in the Yellow & Black for the first time at the level.
The latter started strongly, taking three intercept marks in the opening 10 minutes and showing poise and a clear mind as the deepest key back.
Dow stood beside Sydney Stack and Will Martyn in the midfield and was industrious and tranquil with ball in hand.
Stack enjoyed his time through the midfield, showcasing his grunt and class both with and without the ball as well as his unflinching courage in the air.
Werribee hacked a desperate high ball to clear it’s defensive 50 and as the ball hovered, Stack’s eyes never deviated as he drifted back with the flight and clutched the mark.
Richmond went without a major in the opening term as the home side piled on five unanswered goals equating to a 34-point lead at the first change.
The message was simple at quarter-time, reset and win the contested ball.
The Tigers showed some venom from the opening bounce of the second quarter, cracking in at every contest and using the ball with control and purpose.
Whilst Stack’s mark was the highlight of the opening term, that was matched, if not bettered by Noah Cumberland’s plucky grab on the goal line in the second quarter.
After back-to-back goals to Mabior Chol and Callum Coleman-Jones, Cumberland made his mark literally with two defenders hanging off him, he clung to the canary yellow Sherrin as he coasted across the goal face.
Cumberland slotted his first goal for the Tigers and ignited his team.
Werribee hit back with two majors of its own before Cumberland slotted his second.
The dynamic forward displayed his power by foot as he blasted through a set-shot from beyond the arc that was like a trace missile that split the middle.
Richmond cut the margin back to 24 points by the main break and went into half-time with belief that was continuing to bubble.
The Tigers started the third term in the right fashion as Hugo Ralphsmith skated onto a loose ball inside 50, tracked the boundary line and squared it to Lachie Street in the corridor.
Street kicked the goal and Richmond looked primed to further eat into the deficit.
Werribee then got their tails up and slammed on four unanswered goals, extending its lead to 46 points by the final break.
Richmond started to slip in the contested ball and Werribee was slick with ball in hand and damaging inside 50.
The more experienced Werribee side sweated on the Tigers’ turnovers and then cashed in on the scoreboard.
Keen to celebrate the 100th game of favourite son, Michael Sodomaco and also secure Michael Barlow’s first win as senior coach, the hosts put the foot down with a seven-goal final term.
Hugo Ralphsmith and Sydney Stack teamed superbly, leading to Richmond's sole goal of the last quarter.
The Tigers’ ball movement was stop-start for most of the day, however when Ralphsmith found space at half-back and clear grass in the corridor he put the jets on and scorched through the heart of Chirnside Park.
The explosive wingman then drove the ball deep inside 50 to the advantage of Stack who was one-out with his opponent and took the mark uncontested.
Stack then laconically nailed the set-shot, finishing off the great work of his teammate.
Richmond will look to learn plenty from the encounter and rest up over the upcoming bye and attack Round 5 against GWS fresh and firing.
WERR 5.5 7.8 11.14 18.16 (124)
RICH 0.1 4.2 5.4 6.7 (43)
Richmond: Cumberland (2), Street (1), Coleman-Jones (1), Stack (1), Chol (1)