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Big guns fire as Richmond downs Melbourne in NAB Cup

Highlights: Dees v Tigers Melbourne and Richmond clash in the first round of the 2013 NAB Cup
Ivan Maric and Jake Spencer lock horns during the Melbourne-Richmond NAB Cup game - ${keywords}
Ivan Maric and Jake Spencer lock horns during the Melbourne-Richmond NAB Cup game

DUSTIN Martin to Trent Cotchin to Jack Riewoldt at the four-minute mark of the first half led to Richmond's first goal in Friday night's NAB Cup contest againt Melbourne.
 
It was the sort of dynamic attacking transition Richmond supporters might watch if a low point hits mid-season. All the big names at their best.
 
Looking as sharp as James Dean, the Tigers dominated the game early. Their run troubled Melbourne and Richmond led the inside 50 count 16-4 in the first half.
 
Luckily for Melbourne - that earlier lost to North Melbourne by two points - the Tigers did not kick straight and only led by 20 points.
 
In the end the Tigers had 12 scoring shots to five to run out winners by 15 points.
 
Tom McDonald, as usual, battled hard for the Demons in defence and his duels with Ty Vickery could be engrossing in the future.
 
Jimmy Toumpas was classy and looked the type who could find space in an old shed. He kicked a nice goal to start the second half and while he admitted to being nervous pre-game, he showed few signs of the jitters.
 
A head clash between Jack Riewoldt and James Frawley left both players dazed and they left the field. Riewoldt had a cut to his head while Frawley did not return. 
 
Jack Viney is tough. He takes the knocks and gets up.
 
One can only imagine how a contest between Martin and Viney might thrill crowds in the future. It could be football's version of cage fighting.
 
If that happens, Trent Cotchin will the classy sidekick with good skills to keep the fans entertained.
 
North downs Tigers in thriller

Jack Watts looks to have a completely different mindset to the one he had 12 months ago. He looks determined, focused and to be growing in confidence across half-back.
 
The Tigers' Nick Vluastin was quiet but he was matched against Melbourne's best and he has a great shape and size for a midfielder.
 
Former Demon Ricky Petterd was playing loose in defence and although he occasionally appeared to overthink his way through a situation, he found enough of the ball to be pleased with his effort.
 
Both teams will be competitive this season but the Tigers will, as expected, have the early edge.

What the coach said
 "Against Melbourne, we dominated play. I think we kicked 2.10 or something so I think the scoreboard didn't reflect the dominance we had in that one. I was pretty happy in both games. We looked good." - Richmond coach Damien Hardwick

Fantasy snapshot
Nick Vlastuin (mid, $147,700) is a top-10 draft pick. He started slowly with just six touches in the first game against Melbourne, but was working his way into things by the second half of the opening game. He then showed his class in the second match against North Melbourne. He used the ball well in tight, with seven handballs making up the bulk of his nine disposals. He has a great build for a modern midfielder and looks capable of slotting in next to Trent Cotchin, Brett Deledio, Dustin Martin, Reece Conca and Brandon Ellis in an exciting line-up. He looms as an astute AFL Fantasy pick.




MELBOURNE        0.1.0    0.2.3 (15)                  
RICHMOND           1.2.5    1.2.9 (30)
 
SUPERGOALS
Melbourne:
Nil
Richmond: Houli
 
GOALS
Melbourne:
Watts, Toumpas
Richmond: Riewoldt, Vickery
 
BEST 
Melbourne:
Watts, Dunn, McDonald, Jones
Richmond: Deledio, Conca, Houli, Morris, Ellis
 
INJURIES 
Melbourne:
Frawley (cut head), Blease (sprained ankle)
Richmond: Riewoldt (cut head)
  
Reports: Nil
 
Umpires: Ryan, Nicholls, Gleeson (first half), Bannister, Findlay, Fisher (second half)
 
Official crowd: 20,309