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Five talking points: Richmond v Collingwood

Highlights: Richmond v Collingwood The Tigers and Magpies clash in round 19

1. Higgins makes every post a winner
There was no shortage of brilliant goalsneaks on the MCG on Saturday, but Jack Higgins outdid them all with a miraculous effort in the third quarter that is sure, at the very least, to give the Goal of the Year a serious shake. Gathering the ball just before the goal-line, Higgins kept it alive by tapping it forward, then somehow weaved his way around the right-hand goalpost just in time to soccer the ball with a flying scissor-kick that flew over his head and through the big sticks. Any player at soccer's recent World Cup would have been proud to claim it as his own, while it was also reminiscent of a star cricketer thwarting a six by throwing the ball back over the boundary rope to complete a catch.

 

2. Tigers find an extra gear again
When Josh Thomas kicked his fourth goal late in the third quarter to bring Collingwood back within four points, it seemed the Magpies had the confidence and momentum to go on and record their biggest win of 2018. However, as they have done so often this year when challenged, the Tigers put the foot down in the final quarter to pull comfortably clear. With three unanswered goals in the first five minutes, the reigning premiers were suddenly 22 points ahead and were never seriously challenged from there. Yes, Collingwood had been carrying an undermanned interchange bench after Jeremy Howe's game-ending concussion late in the first term and losing Matt Scharenberg to a knee injury. But the Tiger tsunami in the final quarter had a sense of déjà vu – and inevitability – about it nonetheless.

 

TIGERS ANSWER CHALLENGE Full match coverage and stats

3. Vertically-challenged Magpies lose more height
The Magpies entered Saturday's game already light on for tall options in defence and became even more shorthanded when Jeremy Howe was concussed in a marking contest late in the first quarter. With Lynden Dunn and, probably, Tyson Goldsack out for rest of the season with knee injuries, Howe had become the Pies' No.1 key defender in recent weeks and, as such, got the big job on Richmond spearhead Jack Riewoldt. However, Howe's day was over after teammate Darcy Moore accidentally kneed him in the head as both flew for a pack mark. It meant Moore had to go to Riewoldt. The emerging defender gave the daunting task his all, but Riewoldt kicked-started the three-goal burst at the start of the final quarter that broke the game open for the reigning premier and finished with three valuable goals.

 

4. Richmond top legendary Demons' record MCG run
With their win over the Magpies, the Tigers recorded their 18th consecutive victory at the MCG, breaking the record they had shared with Norm Smith's legendary Melbourne team of 1955-56. Richmond's golden run started in round 14, 2017, with a 26-point win over traditional foe Carlton, so it was fitting it toppled another bitter enemy to claim the record in its own right. Before this streak, the Tigers' club record for consecutive wins at the MCG was 11, from round 11, 1974 to round 10, 1975.

SHOWREEL Dusty and Jack's big day out

5. Another record remains intact
On a sunny winter afternoon in Melbourne, Richmond and Collingwood came close to recording their biggest ever crowd in a home and away game, with 88,180 fans flocking to the MCG to see the reigning premier and ladder-leader clash with the third-placed Magpies. The teams' biggest crowd of 92,436 was set in round four, 1977, an afternoon on which the Magpies prevailed by 26 points. Saturday's crowd was comfortably ahead of the teams' next highest attendance, 82,191, which was set in round two, 1971. Saturday's match was the first time since round six, 1985, that the traditional foes had clashed when both were inside the top four. With both sides looking well placed to enjoy sustained success over the next few years, the 41-year-old record might not last too much longer.