A RELENTLESS Richmond has steamrolled Collingwood by 32 points in an ominous blowout at the MCG, cementing their status as AFL premiership favourites and leaving the Magpies in a world of trouble ahead of the finals.
Friday night’s hotly-anticipated clash quickly turned into a wet-weather demolition job as the Tigers stormed to a nine-goal to one lead, eventually running out 14.14 (98) to 9.12 (66) winners in front of a bumper 78,722 crowd.
Star recruit Tom Lynch booted five goals to continue his stunning late-season form, while Dustin Martin was superb with 38 disposals and two majors as the Tigers gained sweet revenge for last year’s preliminary final defeat.
With four games remaining, the Tigers now sit fourth on the ladder and are set up beautifully for a final stretch in which they do not leave the MCG.
Richmond’s fifth straight win was tempered by an injury to skipper Trent Cotchin, who was ruled out at quarter-time with what the Tigers labelled a minor hamstring issue.
It is unknown whether the latest setback is related to the serious hamstring injury which left Cotchin sidelined for two months earlier in the season.
Cotchin had been in some doubt for his 150th game as Richmond captain with his wife Brooke due to give birth to their third child at any time.
Collingwood had their own injury woes, losing key defender Jordan Roughead – who had been monstered by Lynch – to a second-quarter concussion and withdrawing injury-plagued star Taylor Adams from their 22 before the game.
Adams was ruled out due to hamstring tightness and replaced by Ben Crocker.
The gun midfielder has managed just six games for the season, having also battled groin and finger injuries.
It was a dirty night for the Magpies, who were held goalless for almost an hour of play between Adam Treloar booting the first goal of the match in the opening minutes and Scott Pendlebury’s roving finish shortly before halftime.
Collingwood drops to fifth on the ladder and for the second week in a row, it was dominated after giving up a huge lead early in the game.
The game was effectively all over by the time Lynch booted his fourth goal late in the second quarter, winning a contest in the middle of the ground then drilling a long-range finish on the run to extend the Tigers’ lead to 50 points.
While their season still has hope, the Magpies have now lost four out of six games since their mid-season bye including last week’s hefty defeat to GWS.
Ruck-forward Mason Cox was again held goalless and is one of several Magpies likely to face the pinch at selection.
© AAP 2019
RICHMOND 5.4 9.7 11.12 14.14 (98)
COLLINGWOOD 1.2 3.6 5.10 9.12 (66)
Goals: Richmond: T Lynch 5 D Martin 2 K Lambert 2 I Soldo J Riewoldt M Chol S Bolton S Stack. Collingwood: B Mihocek 2 S Pendlebury 2 A Treloar B Crocker
J de Goey J Elliott J Thomas.
Umpires: Jacob Mollison, Mathew Nicholls, Andrew Stephens.
Official Crowd: 78,722 at MCG.