Richardson stars in Tigers win over Freo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Richardson stars in Tigers win over Freo

By Justin Chadwick 16/02/2009 04:22:29 PM Comments (0)

Matthew Richardson put in a Herculean effort to lift Richmond to a pulsating three-point NAB Cup victory over Fremantle at Subiaco Oval on Sunday.

The Tigers trailed by nine points at the 18-minute mark of the final quarter but Richardson kicked the final two goals of the match to lift Richmond to the 1.12.8 (89) to 5.5.11 (86) triumph.

Richardson finished the match with 25 disposals, nine marks and three goals, with his scintillating start to the third quarter lifting the Tigers back into the contest after the Dockers had opened up a 23-point lead at halftime.

Richmond's win sets up a quarter-final showdown against Collingwood in a fortnight, while Fremantle will play the loser of Friday's North Melbourne/Carlton clash on February 28 at Manuka Oval.

Mitch Morton (three goals), Nathan Brown (three goals) and Jack Riewoldt (two goals) proved a handful around goal, while Nathan Foley (33 possessions) and Daniel Jackson (29 possessions) were prominent throughout.

Richardson, who gathered 25 possessions and booted four goals in Richmond's 64-point flogging of Fremantle in round four last year, once again proved to be the Dockers' nemesis.

The 276-game veteran was everywhere as Richmond kicked seven unanswered goals after halftime to take control of the match.

But with the Tigers seemingly in cruise control, a Kepler Bradley goal followed quickly by nine-pointers to Stephen Hill and Garrick Ibbotson turned the game back in Fremantle's favour in the last quarter.

Step up Richardson.

The wingman/defender/forward lifted once again when the game was there to be won, booting the final two goals of the match and taking a crucial mark in defence to seal the win.

Rhys Palmer (21 possessions) was influential for the Dockers, while Andrew Browne, Stephen Hill and Paul Hasleby worked hard for the home side.

The Tigers over-possessed the ball in the first half but reaped the rewards when they reverted to a more direct route in the second.

Fremantle made a flying start to the contest, with super goals to Dean Solomon and Andrew Browne lifting the home side to a 31-3 lead after just 13 minutes.

The Tigers dominated possession but were wasteful with their disposals as the Dockers' long and direct route proved a winner.

Richardson's tireless work around the ground inspired the Tigers into action, with the 33-year-old's super goal helping to close the margin to 18 at the first break.

Two quick goals to Brown at the start of the second quarter saw Richmond close to within eight points but a 50m penalty against Jay Schulz, which led to a Byron Schammer nine-pointer, gave the Dockers some breathing space.

Richmond coach Terry Wallace admitted his team's intensity wasn't up to scratch in the first half.

"Early on the home side wanted the ball more and were probably a bit more ferocious at winning it first up," Wallace said.

"They were beating us in the clearances early and I thought their tackling intensity was better than ours early in the game.

"It was a good hit-out.

"I think for both sides going into the season proper, you don't usually get that type of game at that capacity right through ... the four quarters."

Mark Harvey said he was pleased with the effort of his team, which featured seven first-gamers.

"It was interesting to see the mix and the balance we played with tonight," Harvey said.

"They gave it their all in their first game and they just fell away at crucial times.

"Our tackle count was really good and a couple of our highest tacklers on the night were our younger players.

"They're the sorts of signs you look for."

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