Tigers home over Essendon by 16 points - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers home over Essendon by 16 points

By Guy Hand 26/08/2006 10:12:17 PM Comments (0)

Some call Matthew Richardson a flawed genius.

But it was Essendon that was left floored by the Richmond spearhead's genius - Richardson proving the difference with a nine-goal haul in the Tigers' 16-point AFL victory at the MCG.

Richardson was at his brilliant best, with 19 marks - nine contested - in a best-on-ground performance to steer his side home 20.9 (129) to 16.17 (113) against a dogged Bombers side.

The 15th placed Bombers powered back from 28 points down early in the second term to push the Tigers all the way.

But while Essendon matched Richmond virtually everywhere else, it had no answer to Richardson, who kicked 9.5 and gathered 24 touches.

He monstered young opponent Kepler Bradley, kicking four goals to quarter-time and six by the main break.

Despite looking in trouble early in the second quarter, Essendon threw numbers forward midway through the term and it paid off with a six-goal quarter as they closed to within a point of the Tigers at halftime.

Bombers veteran James Hird was outstanding with 17 first-half touches as his side dominated the centre clearances.

Richmond led by nine points at three-quarter-time and Hird reduced the deficit to three points with the opening goal of the final term.

But Richardson booted his eighth soon after, with the Tigers putting the issue beyond doubt midway through the final term with three straight goals from the 15-minute mark.

First Kayne Pettifer and Troy Simmonds goaled to push the lead out to 18 points, before Essendon defender Mark Bolton made a horrible clanger, kicking across goal in defence straight to Richmond's Kane Johnson.

Johnson goaled to give the Tigers an unassailable lead.

Richardson fittingly capped the match with his ninth goal after the siren.

Bombers utility Dean Rioli kicked a goal in his 100th and last AFL game for the Bombers after announcing on Friday he would retire because of a chronic knee injury which has dogged him in recent seasons.

The Bombers remain within sight of their first wooden spoon in more than 70 years after the loss.

They are currently ahead of bottom-placed Carlton on percentage - both sides with three wins and a draw this year.

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