Port Adelaide’s fuel gauge is empty and Richmond remain firmly in the hunt for a place in the top eight after the Tigers outclassed their rivals with a dominant second half.
Richmond’s Finals bid received a major boost after four-goal heroes Shai Bolton and Tom Lynch fired the Tigers to a resounding 38-point win over Port Adelaide on Saturday night.
Dion Prestia was the star of the stoppages, finishing the game with 32 possession and 10 clearance attempts while the Tigers flexed their muscles in an impressive 16.13 (109) to 10.11 (71) win at the Adelaide Oval.
Trent Cotchin and Daniel Rioli were also standouts, while Toby Nankervis was the dominant big man on the floor with 29 dismounts and 42 hitouts.
“We’re starting to play decent football, I thought we’ve been pretty consistent apart from a couple of phases, but I thought the lads dug deep,” said Damien Hardwick.
“The good news for us is that we had some players who didn’t quite live up to their expectations but then changed and put in a remarkable performance.
“I was very happy with how the boys played.”
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In a disappointing season, Ken Hinkley has often had to lament that his side aren’t good enough long enough, and it was the case again as the Power traded blows in an entertaining first half before falling off in a disappointing third term with seven goals conceded collects.
The Tigers improved to an 11-1-8 record with the important win, which keeps them well in the hunt for a top 8 spot, while Port slipped to 8-12.
With just two games left, the result means the Power will end the season with a negative win-loss record for the second time in Hinkley’s 10-year tenure.
Ollie Wines, Travis Boak and Zak Butters were prominent for the power, with Charlie Dixon and Jeremy Finlayson scoring two goals each.
A shaken Wines left the field for first-quarter judging after being badly brought down on a cotchin tackle.
With his left arm clamped, the Brownlow Medal winner’s head slammed into the turf at the end of a slingshot attack, which is the subject of match review.
Luckily, Wines was cleared to return and overcame a slow start to cheer on his side in the second quarter.
Wines had 13 possessions for the term, with the Power leveling a nine-point quarter deficit to take the lead when Robbie Gray converted a free-kick after Nathan Broad was pinged for a deliberate ambush.
Bolton had one of the more entertaining first halves of the season with five possessions, scoring twice late in the first two quarters.
The Tigers’ livewire, who had a riveting duel with Ryan Burton, struck from long range after the quarter-time siren and his second in the shadow of half-time was one from the box.
As the ball was pumped deep into Richmond’s crowded offensive 50, Bolton picked up the Sherrin cleanly off the ground, dodging three defenders and sending in a spectacular goal just off the post.
He struck again in the third and final trimester, but an outstanding performance could have been something really special had he kicked a little straighter and finished with a 4.5.
LYNCH BREAKS LOOSE
Lynch looked set for a big night in the first quarter as he clearly put opponent Trent McKenzie in trouble, but he only managed one goal from three shots for the term.
McKenzie held his own in the second, but Lynch did the damage in a crucial third quarter.
Twice McKenzie slipped over to allow Lynch to score a second and third goal, and after the Tigers’ power forward scored his fourth from a forward 50 stop, Hinkley made a tag with Aliir Aliir, who received the task.
The third quarter was largely played on Richmond’s terms, the visitors leading by 40 points after Bolton kicked his third and Noah Cumberland really snapped.
To make the performance even more commendable, the Tigers had to shuffle the deck when defenseman Nick Vlastuin was substituted out of the game just after the main break with small forward Jason Castagna, the medical backup.
Vlastuin left the ground immediately after a fearsome clash with Dixon, with the port forward’s knee crunching into Vlastuin’s ribs in a marking contest.
“There were some critical parts of the game where we were badly beaten,” Hinkley said.
“We had a lot of chances but they were a little cleaner with the ball and they were able to take the territory from us, which is a really big part of our game.”
POWER 3.1 6.4 9.6 10.11 71)
TIGERS 4.4 7.6 14.10 16.13 (109)
Perfomance: Wines, Butters, Book, Houston, Drew, Bergman.
Tiger: Prestia, Bolton, Cotchin, Lynch, D. Rioli, Nankervis.
Perfomance: Dixon 2, Finlayson 2, Bergman, Butters, Duursma, Gray, Burgoyne, Rozee.
Tiger: Lynch 4, Bolton 4, Cumberland 2, D Rioli 2, M Rioli, Riewoldt, Ross, Pickett.
Perfomance: Rozee (knee).
Tiger: Vlastuin (ribs).
Haussen, Nicholls, Hosking
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
JASON PHELAN’S VOTES
3 Prestia (rich)
2 boltons (rich)
1 wines (port wine)
Originally published as AFL 2022 Port Adelaide v Richmond Tigers: All the latest Round 21 match updates
https://www.codesports.com.au/afl/afl-2022-port-adelaide-v-richmond-tigers-all-the-latest-news-for-the-round-21-match/news-story/a09980be0a010ab69ca3482a405adf77?nk=5d13dffe4e604be350d7a7a7fa2f1b37-1659799028 AFL 2022 Port Adelaide vs Richmond Tigers: All the latest on Round 21 game