IT WASN’T pretty or convincing, but Richmond has recorded its third win of 2020 in the second-lowest scoring match of the AFL era.
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The Tigers jumped into the top six with an eight-point win over Sydney, surviving a late challenge in wet conditions.
Damien Hardwick jumped out of his seat and looked like he would leave the coaches box as Tom Papley kicked Sydney's third goal of the day to bridge the gap to just over a goal with five minutes left on the clock, but the Tigers coach composed himself and returned to watch his side hold on.
Richmond jumped out to a quick start with three goals in the first 10 minutes and held on to take out a 4.10 (34) to 3.8 (26) victory in a dour defensive clash.
TIGERS WIN UGLY Full match coverage and stats
The Tigers looked to their sharp ball users in Jayden Short (26 disposals), Kamdyn McIntosh (23 disposals) and Kane Lambert (23 disposals) to inflict damage, while Callum Mills (29 disposals) and Jake Lloyd (24 disposals) should hold their heads up high as the Swans’ backline battled hard all afternoon.
Sydney is firmly entrenched in 17th spot, after recording its lowest score since round 13, 1988.
The loss of co-captain Josh Kennedy (MCL) and star forward Isaac Heeney (ankle) further compounded the woes for the Swans with the injury list already lengthy.
Aliir's perplexing non-selection the right call
Sydney elected to drop Aliir Aliir an hour before the game, choosing to face star Tiger Tom Lynch with 186cm Robbie Fox instead. It was a brave call from Longmire, but it worked. Without a recognised key defender in the line-up, the Swans managed to hold the Tigers goalless in the second quarter after looking like they were going to get blown away early. Lynch had surgery on a broken finger last Monday and looked anonymous with a free kick against the only stat to his name at half-time.
Stephens is the classy mover the Swans needed
Sydney's midfield brigade of Luke Parker, Josh Kennedy, Ollie Florent and James Rowbottom can all rack up contested possessions, but the Swans have been crying out for a stylish ball user to join the mix. Dylan Stephens proved he was the right choice at pick No.5 in last year's NAB AFL Draft, showing promising signs with 11 disposals on debut. The South Australian's class on the wing should earn him a spot in the side for the rest of the year.
More Tigers might need to follow birthday boy's ink
Jason Castagna celebrated his 24th birthday on Sunday, but it was the Tiger who gave the gift of a great new tattoo to football fans. The small forward has been maligned for his inaccuracy in front of goal in the past and he's certainly taken notice. A post-it note with 'kick str8' is the latest addition to his already heavily inked left leg. After an inaccurate performance in front of goals, perhaps Castagna's Tiger teammates could take a leaf out of his book.
RICHMOND 3.3 3.5 4.7 4.10 (34)
SYDNEY 1.3 2.3 2.5 3.8 (26)
Richmond: Riewoldt, Martin, Bolton, Lynch
Sydney: Papley 2, Rowbottom
Richmond: Lambert, Short, McIntosh, Baker, Broad, Higgins
Sydney: Mills, Lloyd, Cunningham, Florent, Clarke, Heeney
Sydney: Kennedy (knee), Heeney (ankle)