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Jack the Giant-slayer: Riewoldt returns with a snarl as Tigers maul GWS

Highlights: GWS v Richmond The Giants and Tigers clash in round 10
Jack Riewoldt of the Tigers celebrates with Shaun Hampson after kicking  another goal during the 2014 AFL Round 10 match between the GWS Giants and the Richmond Tigers at Spotless Stadium, Sydney on May 24, 2014. (Photo: Craig Golding/AFL Media)
Jack Riewoldt celebrates one of his many goals with Shaun Hampson




PERHAPS Jack Riewoldt should question Richmond's game plan every week.

Having spent the week trying to extricate his foot from his mouth, Riewoldt let his boots do the talking on Saturday, kicking 11.2 in Richmond's 113-point annihilation of Greater Western Sydney.

Five talking points: Greater Western Sydney v Richmond

Panned by coach Damien Hardwick for his public criticism of the club, Riewoldt responded in breathtaking style, producing a career-best performance in their 24.10 (154) to 5.11 (41) triumph.

It is just the result Hardwick required after a week of intense scrutiny, stemming from a bad loss to Melbourne that left the Tigers in 16th place and then accentuated by Riewoldt's ill-timed comments.

Keeping their season alive as they improved to 3-6, coupled with a significant percentage increase, the Tigers' next seven matches are all in Melbourne, starting with Essendon at the MCG next Saturday night.

Hardwick knows his side still has a long way to go, but felt it had taken a critical step forward at Spotless Stadium.
 
"The important thing for us and our players going forward is what we do with this," he said.
 
"We are a long way back, we know our best footy is good enough, we've just got to make sure we consistently deliver what we put out there today."

But questions must now be asked of the Giants, who were well rested from last week's bye, picked one of their strongest sides of the year and had expected to meet the Tigers head-on.

Instead, they were largely non-competitive, giving up uncontested marks at will and unable to put any sort of clamp on Richmond's offensive game.

Jack's feet do the talking

The performance, in front of just 8,331 fans at Spotless Stadium, prompted AFL great Leigh Matthews to offer a damning assessment of GWS' defensive line while calling the game on radio.

"I've never seen a worse collective effort from the back six," he said on 3AW.

"I've never seen a worse example of defending.

"They're almost back to how they were in their first year."

GWS' encouraging 2-1 start to the season is a fading memory, conceding 224 points over its past two matches against Richmond and West Coast and suffering a worrying sixth straight loss.

And it is likely to get worse still, with a trip to the MCG to meet Hawthorn next up on the schedule.

GWS coach Leon Cameron said it was the most disappointing display during his time at the club before being asked where the responsibility lay.
 
"With me and the players and the entire footy club," he said.
 
"There's nowhere to run from this. We've just got to head down, bum up and fight through it.
 
"It shouldn't be this unacceptable."

Predictably on such a lopsided afternoon, Richmond had winners all over the ground, with Brandon Ellis, Dustin Martin and 200th-gamer Brett Deledio dominating possession.

Shaun Hampson was outstanding in his ruck duel with the returning Shane Mumford for a Tigers side that kicked 12 straight goals before Ty Vickery's behind 13 minutes into the second quarter.

Dylan Shiel (34 disposals, eight tackles, seven clearances) could hold his head high, but there was little else of note for a GWS team that had just five individual goalkickers on one of the more disappointing days in its short history.

Coach Leon Cameron should also face some scrutiny for playing last year's All Australian forward Jeremy Cameron in defence to start the game.

It is reasonable to experiment at times as young players develop, but surely Cameron's threat around goal would have been important to start the match, and more influential than being parked in the defensive 50m.

The Tigers were on a mission from the opening bounce, slotting set shots from all angles in a stunning eight-goal first quarter.

Riewoldt was unstoppable, already equalling his previous best goal tally for the season when he calmly slotted his fourth just 27 minutes into the match.

The avalanche continued in the second term, with the Tigers adding 6.2 for a 74-point lead against a GWS outfit that managed just one solitary behind for the quarter.

From there, the only real interest was in the final margin and Riewoldt's final haul and while he went without a goal in the fourth quarter, it took none of the gloss from his career day.

Twitter: @AFL_JD

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY    1.5   1.6     3.9      5.11  (41)
RICHMOND                                    8.0   14.2   21.4   24.10 (154)

GOALS
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron, Palmer, Coniglio, Hoskin-Elliott, Scully
Richmond: Riewoldt 11, Houli, Vickery, Griffiths, Ellis 2, McDonough, Edwards, Foley, Cotchin, Grigg

BEST
Greater Western Sydney: Shiel, Coniglio, Hoskin-Elliott
Richmond: Riewoldt, Hampson, Martin, Rance, Deledio, Houli, Cotchin, Ellis, Foley

SUBSTITUTES
Greater Western Sydney: Coniglio (shoulder), Kelly (leg)
Richmond: Jackson (leg)

INJURIES
Greater Western Sydney: Coniglio (shoulder), Kelly (eye)
Richmond: Jackson (leg)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Dalgleish, Schmitt, Foot

Official crowd: 8,331 at Spotless Stadium


Shane Mumford and Dustin Martin come to blows during the Tigers' massive win over GWS. Picture: AFL Media