In Friday night's Five things we learned, brought to you by Haier, the world's No.1 appliance maker, we discover that Tom Lynch hasn't got the message about ill-discipline, St Kilda needs more midfield grunt and a speedy Tiger loves the big stage.
TIGERS v SAINTS Full match coverage and stats
1. Tom Lynch is becoming an MRO timebomb
Once again this season Lynch will be under Match Review Officer scrutiny for an unnecessary action. The Richmond key forward was in ominous form in his return from his hamstring injury, dominating Saints defender Dougal Howard and finishing with 2.5 to be close to best afield in Richmond's win. He was also in an aggressive, combative mood, including a scuffle with Howard that saw Lynch laying on Howard's head as he was on the ground and then appear to dig his left knee into the St Kilda defender's neck. It continues a fiery season for Lynch, who was sent to the AFL Tribunal in August for a clash with Essendon's Michael Hurley after it was the third time he had been cited for striking this season.
2. The Saints need more engine room power
St Kilda has been open in its chase for more midfielders this off-season, having created an appetite for trades during last year's bonanza. Friday night showed the desire for a larger engine room is well founded, having been smashed out of the centre square when the game was up for grabs. Despite having the ruck advantage, the Saints lost the centre clearances 9-3 before half-time. That number finished at 15-5 by the end of the game. Seb Ross, Jack Steele and Dan Hannebery were solid, and Hunter Clark will probably slide in there next season full-time, but it will be a focus for the Saints in the exchange period.
3. Shai Bolton is on the verge of stardom
If this season has been the making of Bolton, then this semi-final's first half was one of its finest moments. The electric Tigers wingman was everywhere, kicking three goals in a dazzling performance before the main break. Bolton's first two goals were brilliant – the first after shimmying his opponent on the 50m line and getting a favourable bounce, and the second smartly flicking the ball to himself before trickling it through from the outside of his boot. Bolton played in last year's premiership for Richmond but has been one of the biggest improvers in the competition this year. At just 21, stardom awaits.
4. The Tigers have a big ruck call to make
The Tigers used defender David Astbury as Toby Nankervis' ruck back up against the Saints, which was an easier call given St Kilda's ruck stocks were depleted by the loss of Paddy Ryder. Astbury battled manfully in his stints, but is clearly more at home in the defensive 50. Richmond coach Damien Hardwick and his selection committee have an interesting decision to make next week against Port Adelaide, though. Are Nankervis and Astbury as a pinch-hitter going to be enough against Power duo Scott Lycett and Peter Ladhams? Or will Mabior Chol be brought back to offer more ruck support?
5. St Kilda should be offering Jake Carlisle a contract for next year
Carlisle missed the semi-final after leaving the hub to be with his partner as she gave birth, and the Saints' lack of another key defender was obvious. As Lynch dominated Howard, St Kilda didn't have any other options as the undersized Callum Wilkie was busy blanketing Jack Riewoldt. Carlisle's absence highlighted the importance of the Saints re-signing the out-of-contract backman for 2021.