NAB Challenge: Collingwood v Richmond
Trent Cotchin and Brent Macaffer.
RICHMOND 0.5.6 1.8.8 1.10.12 1.17.13 (124) COLLINGWOOD 0.3.0 0.7.2 0.10.4 1.10.7 (76) SUPERGOALS Richmond: Arnot. Collingwood: J White.
GOALS Richmond: Cotchin 4, Vickery 4, Deledio 2, Lloyd 2, Edwards, Griffiths, Houli, McDonough, Edwards. Collingwood: Reid 5, Cloke 3, Mooney 2.
BEST Richmond: Deledio, Martin, Cotchin, Conca, Houli. Collingwood: Reid, Pendlebury, Kennedy, Langdon.
UMPIRES Schmitt, Meredith, McInerney.
Venue: Wangaratta Showgrounds.
The amount of expectation perpetually hanging over Richmond meant some anguished reactions to the Tigers' lack-lustre loss to Melbourne in the first round of the NAB Challenge.
But any anxiety felt by the sizeable Tiger army would surely have been quelled by Richmond's far more accomplished display in its second hitout against Collingwood at Wangaratta on Saturday, which produced an accomplished 48-point win.
|View Match Statistics|
|Players||White (1.0.0), Reid (0.5.0), Cloke (0.3.1), Mooney (0.2.1), Elliott (0.0.2), Ball (0.0.1), Kennedy (0.0.1), Sidebottom (0.0.1)||Scorers||Arnot (1.0.1), Vickery (0.4.1), Cotchin (0.4.0), Deledio (0.2.3), Lloyd (0.2.0), Griffiths (0.1.2), Edwards (0.1.1), Edwards (0.1.0), Houli (0.1.0), McDonough (0.1.0), Ellis (0.0.1), Petterd (0.0.1)|
It was a victory, not for the first time engineered by Richmond's classiest acts, with skipper Trent Cotchin, Brett Deledio and Dustin Martin all starring, collecting nearly 100 possessions between them.
Up forward, despite the absence of spearhead Jack Riewoldt, the Tigers were still able to muster 18 goals, with Cotchin and key forward Ty Vickery booting four each.
Richmond certainly began the game in a far higher gear than it found for all four quarters of last week's game.
But the Tigers' satisfaction was tempered by coach Damien Hardwick's revelation that No. 1 ruckman Ivan Maric could need ankle surgery and the Tigers do not know when he will start his season.
Maric had successful post-season groin surgery but has yet to play in the pre-season.
''We're just monitoring his progress and see how he's going,'' Hardwick said.
''He's probably in the hands of the doctor at the moment.
''It's been a bit of a drawn-out process at this stage so at some stage we've probably got to make a decision on which way we go. [Surgery] is a possibility.''
Strong performances from ruck recruit Shaun Hampson and tall swingman Ben Griffiths on Saturday suggest Richmond has better back-up for Maric this season.
The Tigers' defensive pressure was spot on from the start, their first two goals to Shane Edwards and Deledio the direct result of turnovers forced by dwelling on Collingwood defenders attempting to clear the decks.
Richmond dominated the clearances early on, having racked up 16 to the Magpies' six late in the first term, and all its stars were on song, Cotchin chipping in with a couple of goals, Martin starting at half-back but sweeping through midfield with effect, and Deledio all over the place.
And the Tigers continue to build both the depth and quality of their midfield.
Reece Conca, in his first hitout of 2014, didn't miss a beat early, and particularly impressive was rookie-listed former Port Adelaide player Matt Thomas, who picked up 15 first-half possessions.
Former Greater Western Sydney youngster Anthony Miles also had immediate impact when he came off the substitute's bench, picking up 10 touches in the third term and finishing with 18.
Collingwood's errors were costly early, as was some ill-discipline from the likes of young ruckman Brodie Grundy, who, frustrated by conceding the ruck battle to Hampson, gave away two 50-metre penalties in the first half.
The Magpies generally didn't look nearly as sharp as they had in last week's opener against Geelong, though they would have been encouraged by Dane Swan's first competitive outing for the year, the Brownlow medallist getting his usual swag of possessions.
Collingwood at least looked potent enough when it did go forward, starting with the three-tall set-up of Travis Cloke, Jesse White and Ben Reid, with Lachie Keeffe at centre half-back.
And Reid provided plenty of evidence that his move forward last season could pay longer-term dividends with five goals for the afternoon.