Triple Richmond premiership star Jack Riewoldt showed why he remains one of the elite key forwards of the AFL competition, despite being in the twilight of his illustrious playing career, with a masterful display against Adelaide at Giants Stadium yesterday.
The 32-year-old veteran finished the match with 20 disposals, a game-high 14 marks (a game-high eight of them taken inside 50), a game-high five goals, an equal game-high 11 score involvements and a team-high 547 metres gained.
One of Riewoldt’s marks, taken in the last quarter, where he hurled himself back into a pack with the flight of the ball, soared high, and took the grab on his chest, was as incredibly brave as it was spectacular.
It was mighty timely, too, as the Crows had reduced their three-quarter time deficit of 33 points to just nine points midway through the final term and were finishing full of running.
Riewoldt converted that extraordinary mark into his third goal for the match and followed up with two more in an inspirational, brilliant burst of football that ensured the Tigers secured the precious four premiership points.
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick paid tribute to Riewoldt during his post-match press conference.
“Jack’s been doing a power of work,” Hardwick said.
“Sometimes, I think, he gets harshly judged by a lot of people. But he plays a really valuable role for us, and Tom (Lynch) very much the same.
“Every now and again, they get a lick of the ice-cream, so to speak.
“It was a great reward for effort today (from Riewoldt).”
And here is what Riewoldt had to say about that remarkable mark . . .
“I sort of looked at it, then I just jumped at the ball, and it was just in my hands when I fell on the ground,” Riewoldt told Fox Footy.
“It’s been a strength of mine for my career, trying to jump at the footy as much as possible, and it’s one thing I’ve been focusing on.”
Riewoldt, who has kicked 30 goals to the halfway mark of the 2021 home-and-away season, moved into equal-fifth place on Richmond’s all-time games’ list yesterday, joining Jack Titus on 294 games.