Highlights: Richmond v Melbourne
The Tigers and Demons clash in round 9
Jack Watts celebrates a goal in one of his best games for the club
RICHMOND'S season is hanging by a thread after going down to Melbourne by 17 points at the MCG on Saturday afternoon.
The Demons' third victory came after they won the second half with the Tigers burning chance after chance due to untidy disposal inside 50.
They got within four points with five minutes left but the Demons held firm and kicked the last two goals of the game.
After eight games, they've managed just two wins – making an appearance in September just an outside chance.
In the middle of the second term, shortly before the Demons hit the front through a goal to Matt Jones, game great Leigh Matthews said the two teams – light years apart in 2013 - were now "on a par".
"Richmond has only won a couple of games – they are nowhere near the team they were last year," Matthews said on 3AW.
The Demons were also untidy early but showed great fight, with Nathan Jones collecting 33 possessions and limiting the influence of Trent Cotchin.
Dom Tyson (23 and nine marks), Jeremy Howe (24 and eight marks) and Daniel Cross who kept Brett Deledio to 24 possessions were among the best, as was Cam Pedersen, who presented well in the forward line that was missing James Frawley.
"Even though we turned the ball over a lot today, there were periods of the game where we controlled the ball well and we were able to use our feet and get the ball down the field to our forwards," Roos said.
"For us to beat them in those circumstances was huge."
But for Richmond coach Damien Hardwick, the loss cut deep.
"There's not much I can say guys ... disappointing," a shattered Hardwick said.
"[It's] incredibly disappointing - one, from a seasonal point of view, but then after the death of an icon of our footy club, to dish up that kind of performance was really disappointing.
"Probably the one thing we were really poor at today was winning those crucial one-on-one contests.
"Credit to them - they turned up to play and we didn't."
It was stoppage central before half time, with 15 secondary stoppages making the game a stop-start, congested affair.
The Tigers reverted back to a tall forward line with Jack Riewoldt and Ben Griffiths playing inside the arc with Sam Lloyd and Tyrone Vickery pushing further up the ground.
After taking a three-point lead into the third quarter, the Tigers used their substitute to bring in draftee Ben Lennon in place of Shaun Hampson.
It had immediate an effect with Lennon nailing a quick goal with his first kick in AFL football.
It snapped the Demons' momentum, which was building after back-to-back majors gave them an eight-point lead.
Astbury joined in the three-quarter time huddle on crutches with ice on his knee, with leading sports medico Dr Peter Larkins telling 3AW he believed it was a suspected dislocated patella that could cost him 6-8 weeks.
It appears to be the same injury he sustained to his other knee in round 12, 2011 that cost him a year on the sidelines.
The first goal of the final quarter went to Lennon but the Demons kicked five of the next seven to win the game.
Neville Jetta withdrew minutes before the first bounce after succumbing to gastro during the warm up.
He was replaced by Jimmy Toumpas, who had 15 disposals in a creditable performance.
The Demons mob former Crow Aidan Riley after kicking his first goal in the red and blue. Picture: AFL Media
RICHMOND 2.3 4.8 6.16 9.20 (74)
MELBOURNE 1.3 4.5 9.6 14.7 (91)
: Lennon 2, Edwards 2, Jackson, Riewoldt, Martin, Lloyd, CotchinMelbourne
: Watts 3, Tyson 2, Pedersen 2, N. Jones, M. Jones, Riley, Dawes, Viney, Vince, Kennedy-Harris BESTRichmond
: Martin, Deledio, Jackson, Cotchin,Melbourne:
Tyson, N. Jones, Pedersen, Viney, Dawes, Howe, Watts INJURIESRichmond
: Astbury (left knee), Cotchin (ankle)Melbourne
: Neville Jetta (Gastro) replaced in selected side by Jimmy Toumpas. SUBSTITUTESRichmond
: Shaun Hampson replaced by Ben Lennon in the third quarterMelbourne:
Aidan Riley replaced by Jay Kennedy-Harris in the third quarter Reports
: Nil Umpires
: Fisher, Nicholls, Ryan Official crowd
: 56,960 at the MCG