Richmond VFL enjoyed its time in the Sunshine state this weekend, as a scorching nine-goal opening term set up a commanding 62-point win on the road, the final score reading 21.16 (142) to 12.8 (80).
The Tigers were hosted by Brisbane at the Gabba, with the aim of securing their third win of the 2021 season.
In a shoot-out under the sun, Richmond’s towering big men in Callum Coleman-Jones, Samson Ryan and Mabior Chol combined for 11 goals and played a large hand in the win.
Local boy, Ryan enjoyed his homecoming as he moved freely inside-50 and was aided by pure delivery from his teammates up the field, finishing with four majors.
The emerging big man marked crisply and kicked sweetly, bagging three goals in the opening quarter and helped his side open up a substantial 36-point quarter-time lead.
Coleman-Jones has been arguably the in-form big man of the competition so far, and that was further enhanced by his performance on Saturday.
He enjoyed the free-flowing nature of Richmond’s ball movement, jagging two goals in the first quarter and as he marked the ball with purpose.
He led and marked with strength and power, emitting an aura of a player that is growing increasingly aware of the impact he has on his team’s fortunes.
Chol sprung back to his best, literally, splitting his time between ruck and forward, snagging three goals.
The ruck/forward is dominant when he’s lethal both at ground level and in the air, and he displayed that from the first bounce to the last.
He also chalked up a goal against his name in the first quarter, as the trio bagged six of the nine first-quarter goals between them.
The Tigers’ pressure was irrepressible, and they were equally as efficacious inside 50 with their conversion, kicking 9.1 in the first and looking like scoring every time they surged forward of centre.
It wasn’t just the talls who impressed, with midfielders the likes of Josh Caddy, Thomson Dow, Brad Melville and Bailey Henderson scorching across the pristine Gabba turf.
Caddy and Dow picked up where they left off last week, gathering possessions at will and releasing their teammates into attacking positions.
Sydney Stack and Maurice Rioli provided the heat and spark at ground level inside 50, stalking the ball and man with ferocity and flair.
Rioli set up Stack’s first-quarter goal after gathering the ball between a trio of Lions, brushing them off, handballing to Stack who shimmied and shook off any would-be tacklers and snapped the goal on his left.
Scoring was not a prolific in the second quarter as the first, however, the game was still on Richmond’s terms for the majority, as it forced turnovers at will and kept speed on the game.
Coleman-Jones was a beacon again up forward, levelling his goal tally with Ryan’s at three.
Rioli added a goal to his name in the second quarter after a strong aerial contest by Stack, and follow up and handball under pressure by Ryan, released Rioli, who goaled from close range.
Another hometown boy, Noah Cumberland, added to his highlight reel in the second term, after collecting the ball at speed from a forward-50 stoppage, fending off an opponent and snapping a goal on his left.
Cumberland is dynamic, tough, and vivacious with his attack on the ball and man. He looks to be another cub who is building into the year.
The Tigers kicked three-goals-to-one in the second term, stretching their lead to 52 points at the main break.
Caddy rose to further prominence in the third quarter, jagging back-to-back goals as Richmond pushed further clear of the Lions with a five-goal quarter.
Chol and Ryan also added to their goal tallies, the latter with four to his name.
In a high-transition game, Richmond’s zealous runners came to the fore.
Brad Melville carved out his own track on the Gabba turf, constantly providing a link between the arcs as he distributed the ball with effortless poise.
Derek Eggmolesse-Smtih patrolled the back half with ease and urgency, winning the ball back for the Tigers and then picking through Brisbane’s defensive structure with his slicing left boot.
Eggmolesse-Smith was another who ran his heart out from wire-to-wire, and will again push his claim for a recall to AFL level.
Bigoa Nyuon built on his impressive game last week against GWS with another resolute display down back.
Nyuon’s understanding of his role is growing as the weeks tick by, as he thwarts opposition thrusts and then punches back intent, be it spoiling or intercepting in the air.
Richmond will have to manage a five-day turnaround, as it heads down to Skybus Stadium to face Frankston under lights on Thursday, May 27.
RICH 9.1 12.7 17.9 21.16 (142)
BRIS 3.1 4.3 7.6 12.8 (80)
RICH: Coleman-Jones (4), Ryan (4), Chol (3), Caddy (2), McDonagh (2), Hicks (1), Stack (1), Bartlett (1), Rioli, (1), Olden (1), Cumberland (1)