AFL live ScoreCentre: St Kilda vs Richmond Tigers



Richmond have snapped a two-game losing streak in style and left a wasteful St Kilda in their wake with a brilliant 86-point win at Docklands Stadium.

St Kilda led at quarter-time and dominated the second term but failed to make their early weight of possession count, with Richmond nudging their way to a four-goal lead at halftime and ruthlessly kicking on to batter the Saints 20.14 (134) to 7.6 (48).

Silky Tigers midfielder Shane Edwards (29 touches) and Jack Graham (17 disposals, 12 tackles and three goals) were ever-present and Dustin Martin (34 touches) worked through a slow start to assert himself on the match, while Jack Riewoldt kicked five goals.

St Kilda skipper Jack Steele (22 touches, 10 tackles) was typically tough at stoppages while Hunter Clark’s cleanliness by foot stood out in his 33 touches.

St Kilda’s Rowan Marshall (foot) and Zak Jones (soreness), both under injury clouds earlier in the week, were left out for Paul Hunter and Luke Dunstan.

But their teammates responded to coach Brett Ratten’s calls for a fast start, taking a one-point lead at the first break in front of 32,056 fans.

In a second quarter as error-strewn as it was exhilarating, St Kilda dominated much of the play but didn’t make it count.

The efficient Tigers wouldn’t make the same mistake, gradually creeping away, before opening up a 25-point lead when Lynch finished off a counter-attack with seconds left in the half.

St Kilda also had to activate medical substitute Ben Long at halftime for Jimmy Webster (groin).

In the third term, the Tigers crunched St Kilda around the stoppages and punished them on the scoreboard, kicking seven goals to two to set the tone for a thrashing.

It started when Edwards goaled with a clever roving snap before Martin got on the end of a turnover, danced around a defender and sent the Tigers 38-points ahead with a booming goal.

From there, Richmond simply turned up the heat and the Saints crumbled with the reigning premiers powering out to a 10-goal lead at the final change.

They rubbed further salt in the Saints’ wounds with a five-goal last quarter.

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St Kilda Saints v Richmond Tigers; round five; results, new, fixtures, odds, tipping, teams, draw; Maddie’s Match; Nick Riewoldt; Jack Riewoldt


You had some bad injuries and a five-day break but some commentators have called that an insipid performance – is that a fair description or not?

I think half-way through the second we thought we were in the game and they made some skill errors towards the back end and put ourselves in doubt with the ball in hand.

We have got the statistics, 35-10 for clearances Richmond’s way and 37-11 first possessions and that made us defend and they had territory honours.

We cannot pick and choose when we want to jump in and play. For a quarter and a bit we were good and last week we were good for the whole game and that is something we have to address.

That was a trend and it was a poor game and we did not handle their pressure and their pressure was very good and we had the ability to kick the ball and take some ground off them and we took a handball and we spoke about taking some territory and we were 6-12 in the first three minutes of the last quarter. There were aspects of the game where we lost confidence and around the ball we were poor.

Was the message at three-quarter time that you wanted them to toughen up or were you disappointed in that aspect of the game?

No doubt about it and when you have a quarter like that, you expect that but we had the advantage that we could have taken in the centre and we were losing centre bounce clearances as much as anything else and it is going the other way and so that was very disappointing.

We missed Marshall tonight, no doubt, and we must wait. But he will be back and Paddy Ryder might be 1-2 weeks away so we have to do something about it.

You have had similar issues over recent weeks, what might that come down to?

We move forward three steps and go back five. That is a bit that we cannot pick and choose in this space and the game has gone back to a lot of contested ball, disputed ball, and it is an area of the game that was highlighted when we started playing and it is more than ever now and the games are longer and last year was a shortened form of the game but you have to be good in the space.

Do you think you might have to make a statement at the selection table to drive the message home?

Yes and no. We have given players the opportunity to bounce back and that was something that happened this week and Nick Coffield has not been in super form but it was pleasing tonight and he has started to mark the ball and on a night when we played poorly in the second half, we have had some players that have got their form going and I suppose the ball was down there so much that he had to join in.

We have given players the chance to bounce back and we have still got a fair few on the injury list and I think there are a few returning this week that are playing their first game so we can’t touch them yet.

There were about four missed shots in the first half, they might not have changed the result, but momentum is a big deal

I think that is something that we were very good at last year with the efficiency going forward and the scoring and the accuracy was through the roof but the game has thrown as different challenges and there are crowds and there were no crowds for the first half of last year and they come into play.

We will keep working on. You have talked about the forwards. I think that King will be a good player for the club and he is working through that and getting into a routine and we also have Tim [Membrey] who is a very good player so no one is wanting to miss goals. It would be nice to put them under some scoreboard pressure early and that might help the momentum and confidence levels and things like that because they do sway in games.

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Disappointing Saints no match for red-hot Tigers on Thursday night football


Richmond is back on the winners list in style, making a lacklustre Saints pay to record a thumping 86-point victory at Marvel Stadium.

The Tigers started like they had a point to prove, kicking the first two goals of the game within the first seven minutes and dominating field position.

But as the opening minutes of the game progressed, the Saints adjusted to take a two-point lead into quarter time, largely on the back of Max King who was a dominant presence early before fading.

Despite being outplayed around the ground in the second term, Richmond made their limited opportunities count and with just four seconds remaining before the main break, Tom Lynch kicked a goal which put his side up by 25 points.

It’s a stretch of footy that the Saints would live to regret.

“They are butchering the ball going forward,” former St Kilda midfielder Nick Dal Santo said on AFL Nation about the Saints’ ball use in the second quarter.

A Shane Edwards snap within the first five minutes of the third quarter effectively killed off the contest, as Hardwick’s side took complete control.

St Kilda attempted to mount a comeback and kicked consecutive goals later in that term, but that was snuffed out soon after following a shrewd bit of tap work by unlikely ruckman Marlion Pickett.

It was that moment which highlighted just how much the Saints miss both Rowan Marshall – who was a late omission – and Paddy Ryder, who is back at the club and could play next week.

In Maddie’s Match – now one of the highlights on the footy calendar – Jack Riewoldt was superb, kicking five goals and running St Kilda’s defence ragged all night.

The Tigers haven’t lost three or more consecutive games since 2017, where they lost four straight matches between rounds six and nine before going on to eventually win the premiership.

Based on the way they played on Thursday night, it’ll be a long time until they lose a long stretch of matches again.

Here’s everything you need to know!

Tigers footy is back

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick’s constant theme across his success-laden run has been to emphasise the importance of his players implementing ‘Tigers footy’, characterised by numbers around the contest and a pressure-first mantra with and without the ball.

While that style was absent two weeks ago against the Swans, it was back last week – albeit it in a loss to Port Adelaide – and continued during Thursday night’s win.

Just as the Saints looked to be gaining a foothold in the game in the second term, a combination of pressure and errant kicking in front of goal from the opposition kept the scores close and eventually allowed them to pile on scoreboard pressure to take control.

There’s no doubt Hardwick would’ve been pleased with his side’s output on the night.

St Kilda has a problem with Brad Hill

The high-profile Saints recruit has been under all sorts of pressure in the early part of the season, with his performance coming under the spotlight in the aftermath of the club’s heavy loss to Essendon in Round 3.

The heat on Hill is set to ramp up significantly again following another underwhelming performance, after he had just 10 touches (one contested) and crucially, failed to lay a single tackle all night.

He was far from alone in being beaten on the night against a hardened Tigers outfit, but considering the expectations on him in the St Kilda side to be driver of good ball use and constant two-way running, he was found wanting again.

Higgins faces off against his old club

St Kilda was outplayed for most of the night, but through the former Tiger, they were able to find two goals and someone always willing to apply pressure inside forward 50.

Higgins was fired up throughout the evening in his first meeting against his old and he was one of St Kilda’s most dangerous forwards.

Another former Tiger – Dan Butler – didn’t feature heavily but in Higgins, the Saints at least had someone who didn’t stop competing on a poor night for the club.

What’s next?

The task for St Kilda doesn’t get any easier next week, as they head to Adelaide for a Sunday night ANZAC Day blockbuster against Port Adelaide.

The Tigers will face off against Melbourne in the now traditional ANZAC Eve clash against Melbourne, in a game that has become one of the highlights of the year.

FULL SCORE

St Kilda: 3.4, 4.5, 6.6, 7.6 (48)

Richmond: 3.3, 8.6, 15.12, 20.14 (134)

GOALS

St Kilda: Lonie 2, Higgins 2, King, Butler, Hunter

Richmond: Riewoldt 5, Lynch 3, Graham 3, Castagna 2, Rioli 2, Aarts, Edwards, Bolton, Martin, Pickett

BEST

St Kilda: Clark, Steele, Coffield

Richmond: Martin, Edwards, Bolton, Riewoldt, Lynch

Reports: Nil

Injuries

St Kilda: Webster (groin), replaced by Long

Richmond: Nil

Crowd: 32,056 at Marvel Stadium



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Horror show: Saints embarrassed as Tigers run rampant



Richmond have sent out an ominous reminder to the rest of the competition that they are still a force to be reckoned with by absolutely destroying a hopelessly outclassed St Kilda outfit by 86 points.

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Jack Riewoldt kicks eight, Richmond Tigers down St Kilda Saints at Marvel Stadium; AFL 2021


Jack Riewoldt flies for a mark.Credit:Pat Scala

Goalsneak Ahmed Saad was a danger man with three majors and Nick Riewoldt battled hard against Alex Rance to also kick three goals.

Richmond’s win followed 13 losses and a draw in their previous 14 clashes with the Saints and lifted them to a 5-5 record.

With four wins in their past five games, including quality victories over Sydney, Hawthorn and now the Saints, it will raise hopes they can reach the finals for the first time since 2001.

Jack Riewoldt’s big night included a spectacular mark over Jason Blake in the second term.

The Tigers twice looked to have the game in their keeping, when they pushed 20 points clear early in both the third and final quarters.

But the Saints kept coming, hitting the lead in the last term when Armitage, Nick Riewoldt and Jason Gram combined for four goals in a six-minute burst.

But, after a series of close losses already this season, the determined Tigers bounced back, with Jack Riewoldt sealing the win in his 100th AFL game.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said in some ways the victory was more satisfying than the previous round’s 62-point win over Hawthorn, given the pressure.

“For our guys to overcome that, against an experienced side, where we could actually get back in front and solidify the result was a sign of a side that is improving,” Hardwick said.

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While the Saints clearly felt the absence of injured ruckmen Ben McEvoy and Rhys Stanley and star defender Sam Fisher, coach Scott Watters said they should have done better with the side they had.

“We picked the best side we have. I thought Jason Blake battled really hard in a number of different positions,” he said.

“We’d love a key defender at the moment, but we don’t want to whinge about that, that’s part and parcel of the game.”

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Teams: Premiership Tigers back for Saints showdown



Richmond is relishing the chance to win a fourth flag under a different set of rules as the Tigers attempt to tweak their game style to stay atop the AFL pecking order.

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Jones, Marshall in doubt for Saints’ and Tigers’ Thursday night blockbuster



Zak Jones and Rowan Marshall are in doubt for “Maddie’s Match”, while Jack Billings says there is no movement yet on a new contract.

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Maguire to wield axe after Tigers booed in Tommy tribute


The goal-kicking also made a significant difference with Adam Doueihi making just three kicks out of six. Valentine Holmes, in comparison, was successful with five conversions from six for the visitors.

The Tigers huddle for the pre-match minute’s silence.Credit:Getty

The Tigers were sent into a first-half tailspin by a barrage of tries, including a Murray Taulagi double. It sucked the life out of the crowd of 9433.

In tribute to the Western Suburbs Magpies halfback legend, Brooks donned the no.22 jersey while the NRL legend’s no.7 jersey was retired and draped over a chair on the Tigers bench. In the seventh minute, fans also rose to a standing ovation, while the Tigers wore a Magpies-inspired black jersey in tribute.

But it took just two minutes for the Cowboys to sour the mood with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow running 80 metres and chipping the ball over Daine Laurie to solo score the first Cowboys try.

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The Tigers also lost Joey Leilua when he failed a HIA after 12 minutes following a number of good touches early in the game. The head knock robbed Leilua of the chance to impress after being left out of the top 17 for the last two games. Leilua is off contract at the end of the season and desperate to prove he remains deserving of a spot.

The Cowboys will also be sweating on the results of tests on Tabuai-Fidow, who was helped off from the field in the second half of the game with a knee injury.

The Cowboys’ win means the Bulldogs are now the only club who have failed to record a victory this season. They would have been hoping their round-six match against the Cowboys next week would have been their chance to get off the mark, but after this North Queensland performance, they may be thinking twice.

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Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire press conference after loss to North Queensland Cowboys


Michael Maguire has threatened to revamp his team list ahead of the Tigers’ next game, after the Cowboys upset the joint venture 34-30 on Sunday.

On an afternoon commemorating late Wests legend Tommy Raudonikis, the Tigers went into halftime on the wrong end of a 28-6 scoreline.

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The Cowboys, who were yet to win a game in 2021, punished their sluggish opponents, running in five tries to one in the first half.

While the Tigers put on five tries of their own in the second 40, it wasn’t enough to steal victory away from the North Queenslanders.

“It was poor,” Maguire said of the Tigers’ first-half performance in his post-match press conference.

“It’s definitely not what Wests Tigers are about.”

The performance enraged fans at Leichhardt Oval, who booed their own team and chanted “bulls***” as they headed into the sheds for halftime.

“Madge” was equally angry at the break, with Fox League commentator Warren Smith saying Maguire was “in Craig Bellamy-mode” — referencing the Storm coach’s reputation for firing up in the coach’s box.

“It hurt … it was disappointing,” Maguire said in response to the booing.

“(The fans) are riding this with us. It was a special day today and I understand that, the players understand that, so it was tough to take.”

Asked whether he would make changes to his side ahead of its clash with the third-placed Rabbitohs, a visibly emotional Maguire delivered a brutal response.

“Our reserve grade’s going well, so we’ll have a look,” he said.

Maguire’s men copped it from all angles during and after their round five loss.

“The Tigers have just come up with way too many errors coming out of their own half and they gave themselves no opportunities,” said Fox League’s Braith Anasta.

“Their defence was average.”

On social media, punters called the side’s performance “woeful”, “heartbreaking” and “a disgrace”.

The Tigers will go into their round six game with just one win to their name in 2021.

They currently sit in 13th place, above only the Cowboys, Sea Eagles and Bulldogs.

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Maguire not the problem: Brooks in cross-hairs as Tigers ask ‘where to now?’


The same can’t be said for the halfback. The Wests Tigers have stuck by Brooks for the best part of a decade. He’s one of their own. A local junior. Brooks is a fantastic ambassador for the club and has worked tirelessly to help turn the joint venture’s fortunes around, but the reality is he has failed to deliver a single finals game in his eight seasons in the top grade.

The club’s faith in Brooks has all-but dwindled to the point of no return, with the club set to ponder a future without the halfback despite having two more years to run on his $900,000-a-season deal.

Is he a halfback? Can he control a football team? The questions will be rampant again this week. Ironically the man sitting in the away coach’s box on Sunday afternoon, Cowboys coach Todd Payten, could hold the solution to both the Tigers and Brooks’ woes.

Payten has a close relationship with Brooks having coached him in the club’s juniors. To think he is not speaking to the halfback about a future outside of the Wests Tigers would be naive.

Several of Brooks’ closest confidants are also encouraging the 26-year-old to consider life at another club. The Cowboys are expected to have close to an extra $1m to spend in the salary cap if Michael Morgan is granted a medical retirement after he succumbed to a shoulder injury and hung up the boots during the week.

The Cowboys are after Adam Reynolds as a halfback, but there is also an appetite to lure Brooks as a five-eighth in a combination that would take the pressure of controlling the football team away from the Tigers No.7.

A few months ago the club considered making a play for Mitchell Pearce, but their faith in Brooks prevented them from acting on it. After Sunday’s loss, in which a knock-on from Brooks in the dying seconds denied the Tigers a chance at snatching a miracle last-ditch win, the club has changed its tune.

Two weeks ago Phil Gould tweeted: “Luke Brooks is NOT the problem with Tigers. Tigers may well be the problem for Luke Brooks”.

There’s no doubt there are people trying to convince Brooks that is the case. Those trying to convince the Tigers it is the other way around might have just succeeded.

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