No GWS defender was able to hold Jack Riewoldt, who was the star for Richmond with 11 goals.
RICHMOND 8.0 14.2 21.4 24.10 (154) GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 1.5 1.6 3.9 5.11 (41)
BEST: Richmond: Riewoldt, Rance, Chaplin, Ellis, Cotchin, Deledio, Hampson GWS: Shiel, Treloar, Coniglio.
GOALS: Richmond: J Riewoldt 11 B Ellis 2 B Griffiths 2 B Houli 2 T Vickery 2 M McDonough N Foley S Edwards S Grigg T Cotchin. GWS: J Cameron R Palmer S Coniglio T Scully W Hoskin-Elliott.
UMPIRES: Justin Schmitt, Jeff Dalgleish, Nicholas Foot.
OFFICIAL CROWD: 8,331 at Spotless Stadium.
Richmond's kicking boots were a major issue last weekend when the Tigers could only muster a wasteful 9.20 in a woeful loss to Melbourne. Days later, Jack Riewoldt had an untimely case of foot-in-mouth when he criticised the Tigers' game plan, prompting coach Damien Hardwick, in response, to metaphorically declare he had put his foot up Riewoldt's behind.
Whatever was going on with the Tigers and their feet, the right ingredients were struck against Greater Western Sydney at Spotless Stadium on Saturday when they did not miss in booting their opening 12 goals, with the Giants managing just one in reply, through the first time and until the 13-minute mark of the second quarter before when Ty Vickery was guilty of a blemish.
Riewoldt had endured a torrid week of his own making after his comments about the Tigers' game plan.
|View Match Statistics|
|Players||Hoskin-Elliott (1.3), Cameron (1.1), Palmer (1.1), Coniglio (1.0), Scully (1.0), Smith (0.2), Addison (0.1), Patton (0.1)||Scorers||Riewoldt (11.2), Griffiths (2.2), Vickery (2.1), Ellis (2.0), Houli (2.0), McDonough (1.1), Cotchin (1.0), Edwards (1.0), Foley (1.0), Grigg (1.0), Conca (0.1), Hampson (0.1), Lennon (0.1), Morris (0.1)|
That sparked some good-natured jeers from the small group of Tigers supporters, with Vickery able to smile about the matter. That summed up the afternoon for the Tigers, for Vickery often has the look of a man with the world on his shoulders.
The opening dozen included seven from the man-of-the-moment Riewoldt, who did as he pleased on Aiden Corr and later Heath Shaw. The Giants clearly were missing injured defenders Nick Haynes and Phil Davis but, as AFL legend Leigh Matthews pointed out, Leon Cameron's decision to use a zone-off defence, rather than go man-to-man, was questionable.
So, too, was the decision to start All Australian forward Jeremy Cameron on Vickery - the move lasting about 15 minutes.
AFL Round 10 Greater Western Sydney vs Richmond.
The Tigers sing the club song after the win. Photo: Getty Images
The Giants had early opportunities but couldn't capitalise. That the Tigers were missing David Astbury, their best defender, made it even more debatable why Cameron was in defence.
Riewoldt, having even resorted to catching public transport to avoid the media scrum through the week, had nothing but a smile through the first half. There were set shots and snaps from either pockets as the Tigers stormed to a 74-point lead by half-time, one which became 113 points by the final siren.
The message Riewoldt received from Hardwick when he went to the bench for a break in the second term was clearly a lot different to what had been said to him on Friday.
The Tigers were a much happier team against the Giants.
"It was a pretty emotional week. I was pretty devastated with how it came across. I let the coach down, I let the side down," Riewoldt said post-match after his career-high 11 goals.
Indeed, after a tumultuous week, Hardwick's message was also well and truly heard by all of his players. They looked to attack and play on - something that has been missing - with the likes of Dustin Martin, Brandon Ellis and Brett Deledio, the latter in his 200th match, finding space, while Matt Thomas was typically strong in the contest and at stoppages.
The Tigers lost the hard-running Daniel Jackson (groin) in the first term, forcing substitute Nathan Foley to be activated. But this didn't matter, for the Tigers maintained their run, with Foley weaving his way through to drill the first goal of the second term.
Often-maligned ruckman Shaun Hampson also had the better of the returning Shane Mumford at centre bounces and around the ground, with the latter clearly in need of a run having not played since round three, while Alex Rance and Troy Chaplin were superb in defence. Key Giants forward Jonathon Patton was held goalless.
Determined to take a stand, the Giants conjured the opening two goals of the third term, but this did not last. When Vickery was left alone in the goal square to mark a quick snap out of traffic by Reece Conca, Matthews, commentating on 3AW, could only describe the overall performance of the Giants' six defenders as the worst he had ever seen by any club.
That feeling may have been shared by many after Riewoldt was allowed to coast to his career-high 11th goal, the milestone coming after a juggling mark in front of Shaw who must be wondering what happened to his life at Collingwood.
Aside from Riewoldt's theatrics, this contest morphed into a bland affair. To his credit, Dylan Shiel worked hard for the Giants but he had little support.
While the Tigers impressed and regained their mojo, it was hard to know what this result really meant. They still have an outside hope of making the finals but that will be clarified in the next month when they face Essendon, North Melbourne, Fremantle and Sydney.