Tigers blitz woeful West Coast - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers blitz woeful West Coast

By Justin Chadwick 13/07/2008 09:31:10 PM Comments (0)

Graham Polak was thousands of kilometres away from Subiaco Oval, but the 24-year-old AFL defender was the inspiration as Richmond ruthlessly dismantled West Coast by 77 points.

Polak suffered severe head injuries and was placed in a medically-induced coma for more than 24 hours after being struck by a tram two weeks ago.

Richmond coach Terry Wallace had no idea how his men would deal with the emotion leading into the match but was pleased with the way they snared the win as Polak watched the television in Melbourne.

"We had a couple of boys pretty emotional after the game in the rooms," Wallace said.

"From our point of view we are a family, as a group, and Polly's certainly part of that family.

"We spoke before the game, just sort of said we had some pretty important people back at home that would be watching in and we were really hopeful we could do the right thing."

The Tigers set up the 24.8 (152) to 11.9 (75) triumph with an 11-goal-to-one second quarter blitz, turning an 11-point deficit at quarter time into a match-winning 48-point lead at the long break.

With Matthew Richardson back in Victoria nursing a hamstring injury, 19-year-old Jack Riewoldt stood tall with a career-best five goals, while Nathan Brown (four goals) and Mitch Morton (three) were among 13 individual goalkickers.

Shane Tuck, Nathan Foley, Jordan McMahon, Trent Cotchin and Jay Schulz were others to shine for the Tigers, who remain one-and-a-half games adrift of the top-eight with a must-win clash against white-hot Essendon to come.

West Coast was ably led by Ben McKinley (three goals), David Wirrpanda (three goals) and ruckman Dean Cox (43 hit-outs) but were outrun by a slick Richmond unit that relished the vast expanses of the Perth venue.

And to make matters worse for the Eagles, who are now only half a percentage point above last-placed Melbourne and in danger of earning their first wooden spoon, star onballer Daniel Kerr may come under scrutiny from the match review panel for a third-quarter hit on Matt White.

With Morton set to take an easy mark in Richmond's forward 50 and White shielding Kerr a few metres away from the contest, Kerr threw his left forearm into the back of White's head.

He wasn't reported but Morton was awarded a 50m penalty for the indiscretion.

West Coast coach John Worsfold said he was "perplexed" with his team's performance and admitted they took a step back in their development.

"We got absolutely towelled up in every aspect of the game in that second quarter and didn't really put up any fight at all," Worsfold said.

"Today I feel as though, yeah, we're probably further back than what maybe I expected, it might take a bit longer but i"m still very confident we can get there.

"It might just be an extra season that we need to get more games into some of the younger players before they're really at the level."

The Tigers were simply unstoppable in the second term.

Despite Cox's dominance in the ruck, Richmond won the clearances 16-3 and recorded 12 scoring shots from 16 inside 50s.

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