IN THE end, Tom Lynch's decision last year was not so much about staying or leaving Gold Coast, but whether he'd join Richmond or Collingwood.

The Tigers ended up the winners in the luring of Lynch, also beating out Hawthorn, although the Hawks always appeared destined for the bronze medal on that podium.

Richmond was favoured from the outset in its pursuit of the former Gold Coast co-captain, having shown enough interest from a long way out to be front of Lynch's mind. But Collingwood gave him pause for thought, including meeting with him before the end of last season.

The Tigers unveiled recruit Tom Lynch as their new signing in October last year. Picture: AFL Photos

Magpies coach Nathan Buckley on Friday night would have been wishing his pitch to Lynch last year was more successful. 

Lynch was supreme in the Tigers' 32-point win over Collingwood, in what was another statement of Richmond's force as it gathers steam towards the finals series.

He kicked five goals in a dominant display, including four in the first half as Richmond set up the commanding win.

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The wet slog at the MCG was a long way from the days of t-shirts and board shorts at the Suns, where Lynch spent his first eight years as an AFL player.

But it was everything Lynch had wanted when he was making his choice last year: spearheading a premiership contender in front of a packed crowd back at home in Victoria. 

Lynch was not the difference between Richmond and Collingwood – there was so many factors in the Tigers' drubbing, including a midfield masterclass, a defensive destruction and a spirit-sapping start that reduced Collingwood to look like a middling opponent.

But the 26-year-old embodied the growing gap between the sides as September draws nearer. He, like his team, is getting better with every week. Collingwood is working in reverse. 

Lynch started the season underdone after a pre-season limited by the knee injury that he brought with him from Gold Coast last season. There were criticisms over his agility at ground level, and ability to impact away from deep in attack. 

But he has now kicked 44 goals for the year, and with four games to go in the home and away season, and likely at least a couple of finals in store for the Tigers, Lynch could eclipse his career-best season tally of 66 goals (which he booted at the Suns in 2016).

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He entered Friday's game having kicked three goals a game over the past four weeks, all of which were Richmond wins. Last week against Port Adelaide, he teamed up with returning goalkicker Jack Riewoldt and connected beautifully. 

He kicked six goals against the Power in round four, in what is his biggest bag in the yellow and black, but this was perhaps his most complete performance.

The Pies had no answers in a horror Friday night. Picture: AFL Photos

Despite the conditions not suiting marking players, Lynch was a class above, particularly in the first half. He found space in the forward 50, was clean at ground level and took his chances. 

The wet was meant to bring Richmond's fleet of smaller options into the game, but it only highlighted the presence of the tallest Tigers forward.

In doing so, Lynch also highlighted Collingwood's lack of forward options. Mason Cox had the first shot at goal of the game but thereafter was unable to impact, Brody Mihocek struggled, while Jordan De Goey was Collingwood's best but only kicked one major as he spent more time around the ball.

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Collingwood is missing suspended goalkicker Jaidyn Stephenson, with Jamie Elliott unable to step up in the NAB AFL Rising Star's absence with only five disposals against the Tigers. 

Unlike the building Tigers, Collingwood is slumping, losing four of its past five games and its grip on a place in the top four. 

Richmond is far more in sync as a tilt at a second flag in three years beckons and Lynch will be pivotal to that chase as the Tigers' preferred inside-50 target.