Richmond ended Essendon’s slim finals hopes with a convincing 102-57 win on Friday night.
The Tigers dominated the ball, leading the possession count 412-320, and therefore the game. A host of players racked up big possession games: Deledio had 33 possessions, Tuck 33 and Cotchin 31. Jack Riewoldt kicked three goals while Edwards and McGuane added two each.
Deledio got the Tigers off to a quick start, but it was Essendon first gamer Nick O’Brien who responded with a goal with his first kick in AFL footy. Hurley kept the Bombers close until McGuane and then Edwards on the siren helped Richmond to a 15-point quarter time lead.
It was a brutal second quarter; both teams were forced to use their subs when White and Davey injured hamstrings. Hurley and Monfries fumbled around in front of goal before the latter snuck it home, but it was all Essendon could muster in the term as Grigg and Riewoldt put the Tigers went up 29 at the half.
Jetta opened the second half with an vital goal, but his work was undone when Martin (25 disposals, 92 percent efficiency) roosted a beauty from beyond 50. The Bombers brought it back and had an opportunity to come within two goals, but Monfries missed a sitter from 40 meters, allowing the Tigers to kick their opposition out of the game. Riewoldt capitalised down the other end before Astbury and Nahas extended the lead beyond the Bombers sight with a quarter still to play.
Dyson Heppell was probably Essendon’s only standout as the club sank to a new season low. A strong start to the season has now ended poorly.
The club was decimated by the fourth term. With no sub their rotation was limited as injuries to Zaharakis, Hurley and Lovett-Murray hit home.
Richmond, already eliminated at this stage, showed some great signs and was ultimately unlucky in losing a number of close games in 2012. A little more development should see them in the eight next season.
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