AFTER surviving a scare, Richmond breathed life back into its spluttering season with a 43-point win over the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on Thursday night.
The Lions hit the front midway through the third quarter, but the Tigers responded emphatically, piling on five late goals in the term to put the result to rest.
They ran away in the final quarter to win 15.16 (106) to 9.9 (63).
Jack Riewoldt relished the extra responsibility in a forward line minus the omitted Tyrone Vickery, kicking four goals, including two in the vital burst late in the third.
Trent Cotchin also bounced back after his much publicised struggles the previous week against Collingwood.
The Tigers captain finished with 32 disposals and a clutch goal in the match-winning third quarter burst.
He started the night with second-gamer Nick Robertson tagging him, but as the night wore on, ran around relatively unopposed.
Shaun Grigg (29), Ricky Petterd (28) and Dan Jackson (24) were also prolific ball-winners, while Dustin Martin was classy in the forward line, adding three goals.
The Tigers dominated early, but kept the Lions in the match by kicking just 2.8 in the first quarter.
Coach Damien Hardwick said he was not surprised the Lions lifted for Jonathan Brown's 250th match.
"They were playing for a legend, not just of their club but a legend of the game, they were always going to come back hard,” Hardwick said.
“I always thought our boys would come back, we just had to get a few set ups right to get the game back on our terms which we eventually did.
“We banked some points and that’s the important thing. It wasn’t pretty, we probably freed it up a little bit late, when they got a little bit tired, it made it a little bit easier to score.
Fielding a team minus stars Daniel Rich (knee), Matthew Leuenberger (knee), Pearce Hanley (hamstring) and Daniel Merrett (suspended), it was a marked improvement for the Lions on the past fortnight's floggings from Gold Coast and Port Adelaide.
They had 10 players with fewer than 25 games experience and showed plenty of endeavour after a poor first half.
Goals to Ryan Lester, Brown and Lewis Taylor early in the third quarter gave them an unexpected lead before Richmond delivered its knockout blows.
Coach Justin Leppitsch said while it was encouraging to hit the lead, he was again disappointed in the final quarter fade-out.
"We were in front half-way through the third [quarter] and we gave up four pretty soft goals," Leppitsch said.
"I thought we had them, they started to slow a little bit and the game was delicately poised for a bit and we gave up some easy ones and then their morale lifts again."
Brown turned back the clock in his milestone game, taking some vintage marks and finishing with four goals.
He had 16 disposals and nine marks, but it wasn't enough.
While not a classic victory in its nature, it moves Richmond to a 2-3 win-loss record ahead of a brutal fortnight against Hawthorn and Geelong.
The first half was littered with mistakes from both teams and struggled to reach any heights.
The biggest roar came when Brown kicked the Lions' first goal of the match, seven minutes into the second quarter.
The Lions did have another reason to cheer, winning the second quarter by five points.
It was their first winning quarter of the season – at the 18th attempt – after being the first team in VFL/AFL history to go without winning a single term in the opening month of a season.
Jed Adcock tries to break away from Tiger Chris Newman on Thursday night. Picture: AFL Media
BRISBANE LIONS 0.1 3.2 7.6 9.9 (63)
RICHMOND 2.8 4.10 9.13 15.16 (106)
Brisbane Lions: Brown 4, Bewick, Paine, Lester, Taylor, Cutler
Richmond: Riewoldt 4, Martin 3, Gordon 3, Edwards 2, Cotchin, Arnott, Petterd,
Brisbane Lions: Brown, Rockliff, Lester, Zorko, Redden
Richmond: Cotchin, Riewoldt, Martin, Petterd, Jackson
Brisbane Lions: Nil
Brisbane Lions: Brent Moloney on for Jackson Paine in the third quarter.
Richmond: Nathan Gordon on for Matt Thomas in the third quarter.
Umpires: Stephens, Hay and McInerney
Official crowd: 20,676 at the Gabba