RICHMOND has overcome kicking and disciplinary woes to snatch a nine-point win over Greater Western Sydney at the MCG.
In a low-scoring but high tension clash, time and again the Tigers looked to have kicked themselves out of the contest, only to triumph with a fourth-quarter surge.
Trailing by 15 points at three-quarter time, Shane Edwards' two goals were priceless as the Tigers won 10.18 (78) to 10.9 (69).
Impressive forward Jack Riewoldt started the fourth quarter comeback with a 50 metre bomb.
Midfield warrior Edwards sealed it with a mark and finish inside the final minute.
In between were moments of high drama as both the Tigers and Giants threatened to win it.
Jeremy Cameron momentarily stopped the GWS dam from bursting, responding with a fine snap goal.
But Edwards' stunning solo clearance and goal from the restart followed by a nice captain's effort from Trent Cotchin tied the scores and allowed Richmond to run over the top of the gallant Giants.
Damien Hardwick said his team’s leaders, especially Cotchin, stood up when they were needed.
“I thought we were really disappointing in our intensity early on, [and] at various stages I thought they outworked us,” Hardwick said.
"We just challenged our leaders to respond, and Trent had an outstanding game. Our players didn't have the best day but at various stages stood up and had their moments."
Heavily favoured to beat GWS on a wet MCG, the Tigers were a shadow of the side that stunned the Sydney Swans at the SCG last weekend.
Worse still, Cotchin and influential ruckman Ivan Maric could face match review panel scrutiny for high hits.
Ivan Maric was reported in the third term after this incident. http://t.co/ma27CHiIOZ— AFL (@AFL) July 4, 2015
With Richmond barely threatening the scorers early, Cotchin's late attempted spoil caught the head of Zac Williams and sparked a mass melee.
More than 20 players were drawn in to remonstrate the Tiger skipper's reckless act, which saw him reported and also drew a 50 metre penalty.
Williams missed his shot for goal in front of the Richmond cheer squad, letting the Tigers off the hook.
Leon Cameron's side laid an astonishing 29 first-quarter tackles but couldn't kick clear in the weather.
GWS took a five-point lead into the main break after Cameron and Adam Treloar kicked their first goals.
In the third term, the Giants broke clear of the weather and through Rhys Palmer (3.0), raced to the game's biggest lead of 15 points.
Maric lashed out at young midfielder Jack Steele at a rucking contest to find his name in the umpire's book.
But in the final term, Richmond were able to break free of the GWS shackles and continue their mid-season surge.
"Going in to three-quarter time 15 points up, you'd always be hoping you can get over the line," he said.
"But (Richmond) still had more of the footy.
"Effort was there but for 15 or 20 minutes they didn't deliver on the basic fundamentals."
GWS assistant Chad Cornes (right) chats with former Port mentor Mark Williams. Picture: Gettty Images
RICHMOND 1.4 3.7 5.12 10.18 (78)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 2.3 4.6 8.9 10.9 (69)
Richmond: Cotchin 2, Edwards 2, Riewoldt 2, Deledio, Gordon, Martin, Vickery
Greater Western Sydney: Palmer 3, Cameron 2, Lobb, Scully, Smith, Treloar, Ward
Richmond: Cotchin, Martin, Ellis, Edwards, Houli, Riewoldt, Rance
Greater Western Sydney: Treloar, Greene, Griffen, Shaw, Shiel, Scully, Whitfield
Richmond: Griffiths (shoulder)
Greater Western Sydney: Nil
Richmond: Ben Griffiths (shoulder) replaced by Kamdyn McIntosh in the third quarter
Greater Western Sydney: Caleb Marchbank replaced by James Stewart in the fourth quarter
Reports: Ivan Maric (Richmond) - reported for striking Jack Steele in the third quarter
Umpires: Fisher, Margetts, McInerney
Official crowd: 35,968 at the MCG