Richmond and Collingwood were locked in an old-fashioned, pulsating shootout on Sunday afternoon at the Swinburne Centre with the Magpies scraping clear by five points.
The budding Tigers, two soldiers down for most of the day with injuries to debutant Liam Wale-Buxton (shoulder) and Brad Melville (knee) were valiant until the final siren, the scoreboard reading, 16.10 (106) to 15.11 (101).
With Hugo Ralphsmith streaming inside 50, and options surging towards goal, the Tigers looked like snatching the win in the final moments, however, the dashing wingman’s kick just fell short into the waiting arms of a Collingwood defender.
Seconds after, the final siren sounded to signal the Magpies' win.
There was a sense of homecoming when Richmond returned to Punt Road Oval to face Collingwood in the Round 13 clash on a sparkling Sunday afternoon.
Given the ever-changing nature of the 2021 VFL season, the Tigers last suited up in their home black shorts on May 15, when they beat the Giants by 97 points.
Richmond donned the 2020 Dreamtime guernsey designed by Shai Bolton, in honour of NAIDOC Week celebrations and 10 years of the Club's Korin Gamadji Institute.
Maurice Rioli kicked one of the goals of the season last week to ignite the Tigers’ goal tally, and he had a direct hand in Richmond’s first today.
Rioli inspired his side, as well as the Tiger fans watching on from home and in attendance, as he surged the ball forward by hand, linking up with Matthew Parker, with the ball ending up in the hands of Garret McDonagh who pierced it through the teeth of goal.
The nuggety, dynamic small forward was effervescent and infectious in the first quarter, hunting the ball and anyone in a black-and-white jumper.
Rioli exuded irrepressible energy and inflicted ferocious pressure for the full four quarters, which is a testament to his growing aerobic capacity.
He’s sturdy through the core, rarely loses his feet in the contest, and keeps the ball alive at all costs.
Lachlan Street then cashed in on a front-half turnover and slotted the Tigers' second within a minute.
Noah Cumberland then extended Richmond’s lead to two goals, after shifting his opponent under the ball and securing the ball on his chest.
Cumberland converted his set-shot, and the Tigers were on a roll.
The high-powered forward put in his best performance in the Yellow and Black, ending with five majors.
Collingwood then slammed on three goals in quick succession before Rioli and Parker had a direct hand in the Tigers’ fourth major.
Parker roved to Samson Ryan at the centre bounce, streamed forward, handballing the ball to Rioli, who shimmied, then flicked the ball to Angus Hicks and the small forward snapped truly.
The Magpies held a one-point lead at quarter-time with both sides enjoying patches of dominance in the first quarter.
Collingwood kicked it up a gear in the second term, kicking a goal in the opening 30 seconds and then added another for more for the quarter.
Richmond managed two goals of its own for the quarter, with the first of them the result of some more Rioli brilliance.
Rioli received a handball under pressure at half-forward, ducked under a would-be tackler, sprung to his feet and pumped the ball inside 50.
The Tigers then forced a forward-50 turnover with Matthew Bartlett gladly intercepting the attempted clearing kick.
Bartlett eased through the goal, drawing Richmond within a kick.
Collingwood then went on a three-goal flurry before Ryan snapped his first of the game.
The five-goal second quarter equated to a 20-point lead at halftime, leaving the Tigers with plenty to ponder at the main break.
Richmond was stung into action in the third term, netting five successive goals in a 20-minute tirade and six goals in total for the quarter.
The Tigers had rhythm and flow with their ball movement and kept things simple when surging forward.
Cumberland provided a viable and dangerous target inside 50, kicking 2.3 for the quarter and setting up Ryan with another.
Ryan built on his strong performance last week, shouldering most of the ruck load as debutant Wale-Buxton injured his shoulder in the first quarter.
Richmond turned to the ruck combination of Street and Ryan, with both looking dangerous in attack and at the centre bounce and stoppages.
Ryan finished the game with three goals and provided an aerial focal point up forward.
Will Martyn is another Queenslander who built on his previous performances, bustling through the midfield, and provided great transition running between the arcs.
Martyn’s best work is done on the inside of the contest, with his confidence and status growing as the weeks roll on.
The big-bodied onballer is also providing polish with ball in hand, be it feeding the ball to outside and using the ball by foot when the Tigers are on the charge.
RICH: 4.1 6.5 12.9 15.11 (101)
COLL 4.2 9.7 11.9 16.10 (106)
Richmond: Cumberland (5), Ryan (3), Ralphsmith (2), McDonagh (1), Hicks (1), Bartlett (1), Cook (1), Street (1)