THERE are two sides to every story. And this story is about one side's premiership hopes taking shape as the other's start to fade.
Richmond, at near full strength, was too good for a gutsy Greater Western Sydney at the MCG on Sunday, winning 13.16 (94) to 9.13 (67).
The Tigers regained spearhead Jack Riewoldt for his first game since round six and pieced together their third win in a row. The 2017 premiers are gathering steam when it matters, with ruckman Toby Nankervis due back from injury in coming weeks.
But as a yellow and black force awakens, the boys in orange are spluttering.
The Giants' tilt at the flag is teetering after a fourth defeat in five games and another injury blow.
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Leon Cameron's men lost star midfielder Stephen Coniglio to a knee injury just four minutes into the first quarter.
Coniglio, who started in the forward line and had his left knee heavily strapped, was helped from the field after an innocuous twist.
The implications of the injury could be huge – and felt around the competition.
If it's significant, it will be a massive setback to the Giants' premiership ambitions, and could also be a factor in the restricted free agent's contract negotiations as he's chased by a host of suitors.
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It was an injury that GWS couldn't recover from against the Tigers, who have now leapt ahead of the Giants on the ladder as they eye a top-four berth.
Shai Bolton was exciting for the Tigers, collecting a career-best 29 disposals and a goal, Brandon Ellis (29 disposals) gave plenty of run, Kane Lambert chipped in with three goals, and Dion Prestia got things going with 12 disposals and five clearances in the first quarter (he finished with 23 touches).
Jeremy Cameron and Toby Greene were the Giants' best. Cameron presented all day and finished with 3.4, while Greene kicked two goals from 34 disposals. Lachie Whitfield (34 disposals) and Tim Taranto (35) were also strong. Debutant Ian Hill was a highlight, booting three goals from 15 disposals in an eye-catching effort.
The Giants didn't give up, but the writing was on the wall early. After Coniglio hobbled from the field in the opening moments, the Tigers took control of the contest.
Their ball movement was better in the wet and slippery conditions, as Riewoldt marked his return to the senior side with a goal from close range.
They booted four for the first term – the last came with comical ease as Tom Lynch grabbed the ball in the goalsquare and booted it through – and kept the Giants goalless.
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Greater Western Sydney hit back in the second term, after being sparked by a running goal from Hill.
His major was followed by two to Cameron – one a difficult snap from the pocket after a high mark and the other a long-range bomb from outside 50. The Giants booted four goals to two for the quarter and cut the deficit back to 14 points at the main change.
The Tigers help Kane Lambert celebrate one of his three goals. Picture: AFL Photos
Without Coniglio, Josh Kelly (ankle) and Callan Ward (knee), the Giants were missing a starting midfield.
They began the third term with more confidence, and cut the lead to nine points, starting to gain ascendancy in the stoppages despite their best player sitting on the interchange bench in full tracksuit.
But four late goals to the Tigers, including two to Lambert, a clever snap from Jason Castagna, and then another to Lynch, gave Richmond a 30-point lead at the last change.
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It was more than enough. The Giants, through a Cameron goal early in the final term, kept their flickering hopes alive, before a Lambert checkside from the pocket sealed the Tigers win at the 'G.
You get the sense they've got plenty of those left up their sleeve for the rest of this year.
Richmond: The Tigers appeared to get through the contest unscathed.
Greater Western Sydney: The big blow came early, when Stephen Coniglio hobbled from the field with a knee injury. They are yet to confirm the seriousness. Lachie Whitfield was crunched in the third term and needed some time on the bench to have his ribs checked, but he returned to the contest.
The Giants host Collingwood next week at Giants Stadium in what will be a pivotal game for their top-four hopes. Richmond plays Port Adelaide at the MCG, also on Saturday.
RICHMOND 4.4 6.7 10.13 13.16 (94)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 0.2 4.5 6.7 9.13 (67)
Richmond: Lambert 3, Lynch 3, Castagna 2, Stack, Riewoldt, Bolton, Chol, Edwards
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron 3, Hill 3, Greene 2, Daniels
Richmond: Lambert, Houli, Bolton, Ellis, Prestia, Castagna
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron, Greene, Whitfield, Taranto, Haynes, Hill
Greater Western Sydney: Coniglio (knee)
Umpires: Foot, Rosebury, Gavine
Official crowd: 38,986 at the MCG