Sam Weideman celebrates a Melbourne goal against Richmond in R6, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

THE PREMIERSHIP quarter is painted red and blue. 

Melbourne again showed its full force in the third term on Sunday night, as the Demons blasted Richmond off with a blitz after half-time.

The 2021 premiers threatened to cost themselves with an inaccurate first half before booting five goals to two in the third quarter as they ran away with the 9.22 (76) to 8.6 (54) win in the clubs' annual Anzac Day eve clash at the MCG.

TIGERS v DEMONS Full match coverage and stats

The Demons' Grand Final win last year over the Western Bulldogs will be forever remembered for its third term run and a similar flex has become a trademark in 2022, with Melbourne winning every third term so far this season.


Richmond was in the game throughout: the Tigers took their chances, mopped up in defence under a barrage and maintained their pressure levels. It was just that the Demons, as they have been for every other opponent so far this season, were simply too good.

Clayton Oliver was the dominant midfielder, gathering 41 disposals (22 contested) and 13 clearances in yet another damaging, destructive performance that set up Melbourne as he claimed the Checker Hughes Medal as best afield, while Ed Langdon was also terrific on the wing with 30 disposals and a goal. 

Sam Weideman stepped up in attack with three goals and Bayley Fritsch kicked two. Nick Vlastuin was Richmond's best, with the reliable defender marshalling his side in the back half with 30 disposals and 12 marks. 


Melbourne looked set to record its first goalless quarter since the end of 2020 until Ben Brown broke a run of six behinds with a clever snap in the final minute of the quarter. 

Weideman followed up with another in the dying seconds to help the Demons to a four-point break at the opening change. Despite the Tigers taking it to the Demons, they had kept alive their run of winning every first quarter this season.


The game lived in Melbourne's forward half in the second term, but inaccuracy continued to plague the premiers. They kicked five behinds to start the quarter before finally, after 16 minutes, Charlie Spargo pounced on a free kick and slotted the first major of the term.

But just as the Dees looked to get the jump, the Tigers hit back with three straight goals to grab an unlikely three-point lead at half-time. In a patch that had been completely at odds with the rest of the term, the Tigers' efficiency restored their lead after being challenged.


The numbers showed the difference in the game: Richmond had eight inside-50 entries for the quarter for 3.1 and Melbourne had 19 entries for 1.6.  

Richmond's pressure game saw Lynch get another to start the third term but then the Demons responded, kicking the next five goals and putting a gap between them and the Tigers.   

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Fritsch got involved with two goals, Langdon got some reward for his hard running and Christian Petracca hit the scoreboard in a break that the Tigers could not chase down. 


There is no stopping 'Clarry'
How can you slow down Clayton Oliver? And if you do, what does that mean for the rest of Melbourne's star-studded midfield? Petracca (25 disposals and a goal against Richmond) has had some best-afield showings already this season but Oliver was in top gear against the Tigers with an enormous midfield performance. The premiership game-changer is at an incredible level for someone in their seventh AFL season who is still only 24. 

Steven May congratulates Melbourne teammate Clayton Oliver for winning the Checker Hughes Medal against Richmond in R6, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Young Tiger boosts Rising Star stocks
In just his fifth game at AFL level Josh Gibcus was able to demonstrate just some of the reasons the Tigers used their prized top-10 pick on him at last year's NAB AFL Draft. Gibcus was excellent in Richmond's backline, taking 12 marks and having a calm presence in defence. The 19-year-old flies for his marks and backs himself with the ball and will be a good shot at being the round six NAB AFL Rising Star nominee. He was certainly a highlight for the Tigers. 

Josh Gibcus flies at the front of the pack for Richmond against Melbourne in R6, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Busy start in the bunker
It was a hot opening on the field and in the ARC (AFL Review Centre) with two big calls being made in the first term. Max Gawn marked on the goal line early in the game but the goal umpire had it checked via the video to ensure he hadn't taken it across the line. After some consternation, Gawn had run back into the middle to set up for a behind being called when it was declared a mark and he had to get back to the forward pocket to take his kick, which missed. Then late in the term at the same end Weideman's dribbler hit the goal umpire between the legs, with the goal having to be cleared in case it was heading towards the goal post when it struck him. 


RICHMOND                             2.2       5.3       7.4       8.6 (54)
MELBOURNE                           2.6       3.12       8.19       9.22 (76)

Richmond: Lynch 2, Riewoldt 2, Baker, Bolton, Graham, Rioli
Melbourne: Weideman 3, Fritsch 2, Brown, Langdon, Petracca, Spargo

Richmond: Vlastuin, Short, Graham, Prestia, Gibcus, Rioli
Oliver, Langdon, Neal-Bullen, Sparrow, Petracca, Weideman

Richmond: Dow (leg)
Melbourne: Dunstan (head) 

Richmond: Matthew Parker (replaced Thomson Dow in the third quarter)
Melbourne: Toby Bedford (unused)