It was a day of firsts at Punt Rd Oval on a frosty Saturday afternoon.
Richmond and GWS faced off for their inaugural VFL clash, and it was the Tigers that prevailed with a commanding 97-point win over the Giants, 19.9 (123) to GWS 3.8 (26).
Callum Coleman-Jones with five goals was a strong focal point up forward and added to his claims for senior promotion, while Thomson Dow and Josh Caddy were dominant through the midfield.
Dow produced arguably his best performance for the Club at any level, utilising his cat-like reflexes and gun-trigger hands to initiate attacking chains or win the ball back from the opposition.
After missing over a month with appendicitis, Dow looks set to put his case forward for an AFL recall in the coming weeks.
Caddy, the senior member of the side, looked sprightly and was invested in aiding the development of the budding Tigers through his care, encouragement, and instruction.
The dual-premiership player also hit the scoreboard in the second half with two majors, and set up numerous others by putting his teammates in better positions.
The Tigers also unveiled four debutants.
Fraser Elliot, Jake Soligo, Cam Olden and Matt Bartlett donned the Yellow & Black for the first time, with Elliot and Soligo being promoted from the NAB league and Olden and Bartlett promoted from Leongatha and Blackburn respectively.
Olden finished the game with three goals and was justly supported by Bartlett who kicked two, whilst the hulking Elliot and silky Soligo were worthy contributors also.
Richmond was back to its best, setting up staunchly behind the ball and holding the Giants goalless for three of the four quarters.
The Tigers looked refreshed and energised coming off their bye in Round 4 and inflicted damage on the scoreboard almost instantly.
Coleman-Jones has been imperious and imposing so far this year and that form continued against the Giants.
The burgeoning forward/ruckman had two goals in the book in the opening two minutes as Richmond capitalised on a sluggish GWS outfit.
The Tigers defended the ground well and moved the ball swiftly and efficiently, which allowed the likes of Coleman-Jones to show their wares one-on-one with their opponent inside 50.
Maurice Rioli set up the first of Coleman-Jones’ two first-quarter majors after he tackled a GWS midfielder on the outer wing and set the Tigers in motion.
Samson Ryan marked strongly at centre half-forward, assessed his options inside 50, and liked the look of Coleman-Jones one-out in the square.
The emerging Tigers’ big man outpointed his opponent, clutched the mark, and sealed the play for Richmond’s opening goal.
Roughly a minute later, Coleman-Jones soccered through his second goal and the Tigers were off to a flyer. Ryan kicked his first and Richmond’s third straight goal soon after.
The Tigers’ debutants looked very comfortable at the level in the opening half, with Matt Bartlett and Cam Olden slotting their first goals in the Yellow and Black, and Jake Soligo and Fraser Elliot industrious through the midfield.
Richmond held GWS scoreless for the first quarter and led by 32 points at quarter-time, before the Giants made inroads with the wind in the second term.
Both sides kicked three goals apiece in the second quarter, as the Giants had the game on their terms for patches of the term.
The third quarter was a stark difference.
Richmond went on a seven-goal tear, three of them kicked by Coleman-Jones.
Zippy small forward Angus Hicks selflessly handed Coleman-Jones his third goal of the game, and first of the third term. His other two were born from strength, forward craft and nous.
Josh Caddy set up Coleman-Jones for his fourth goal after spotting him in space inside 50 on the fat side of the ground.
Coleman-Jones extended his reach above the pack to mark and then kicked truly.
‘C.J’ then collected a sliding chest mark and converted the set shot, taking his tally to five overall.
Sydney Stack is warming nicely into the season and is improving week-on-week, playing as a deep forward and midfielder.
Stack kicked two goals in the second half, but it was his work without the ball that would have pleased the coaching staff the most.
The dynamic Stack was pulverising with his tackling, and sturdy with his attack on the ball.
Bigoa Nyuon was part of an organised defensive unit that made sure the Tigers played the game in their own half for the majority.
Nyuon reads the game extremely well to put himself in the right positions to intercept and turn defence into attack.
Richmond ran away with the game in the second half and is in good shape for its trip north to face Brisbane next Saturday morning.
RICH 5.2 8.4 15.8 19.9 (123)
GWS 0.0 3.6 3.7 3.8 (26)
Rich: Coleman-Jones (5), Olden (3), Caddy (2), Bartlett (2), Stack (2), Ryan (2), McDonagh (1), Henderson (1), Chol (1)