Richmond Rampant Over Carlton

Richmond charged to a 15.15.105 – 11.12.78 win over Carlton in the opening game of the 2015 AFL season before over 80,000 fans at the MCG on Thursday night.

Carlton kicked 6 of the first 9 goals but let the game slip in the second quarter. A feriouciously fit looking Richmond rallied to regain composure and control of the match after some ordinary set shots in the first half. Richmond’s X-factor Jack Riewoldt kicked 4 while Kamdyn McIntosh turned many heads with a solid debut for the Tigers.

Carlton started brightly in their season opener. The same can’t be said for Dale Thomas. The centre has had a shocking run with injury and began his 2015 season with another concern. Thomas was tackled to the ground and landed awkwardly, popping his shoulder out of joint, an injury that will have him on the sidelines for at least 4-6 weeks unless he needs surgery.

The midfield didn’t suffer too much. Marc Murphy and Chris Judd provided sublime service into the forward fifty, helping the Blues to a 15-8 inside 50 dominance and 31-15 lead.

“Griffiths on fire at the moment, so we need to get it in to him,” commented a member of the Richmond coaching staff at quarter time. The Tigers’ forward had nailed two to keep his side in touch.

Carlton looked as though they were about to take the contest out of the match early in the second quarter, until the Richmond midfield fired up through Brett Deledio. The Richmond vice-captain netted three touches in a minute to help rejuvenate his team’s spirit.

While set shots were letting the Tigers down, there were huge gains in handball accuracy and strength in running with the ball. Mcintosh, Riewoldt and Grigg all kicked inspiring goals to have Richmond up at the half 6.9.45 – 7.10.52.

“We were being dictated to a bit at the start,” commented Tigers fullback Alex Rance at half time.

Brett Deledio was placed on report for a careless bump in the opening seconds on Simon White. A previously flawless discipline record may not save the inspirational midfielder after what was a careless hit.

“I think he’s going to miss a week for that one,” Channel 7 commentator Cameron Ling remarked.

A tight third quarter saw Richmond continue to dominate the midfield. Kamdyn McIntosh was thrilling the crowd on his debut for the Tigers with 21 disposals to go with his 1.2 goals.

The Blues struggled to play on quickly when coming out of the back third and were swamped by a fit and energetic Richmond. Brandon Ellis was bullying with 7 tackles and 21 disposals. The Tigers had a 19 point three quarter lead.

A goal to Troy Menzel inside the opening five minutes of the final quarter brought the lead back to 20 and kept Carlton in the match. Jack Riewoldt spoiled the party for Blues fans, kicking his 4th goal with 12 minutes remaining and the lead back out beyond 25. Lloyd’s third goal hurt Carlton as heads went down in a tough season opener.

Surprise packet midfielder Kamdyn McIntosh was in awe of the occasion when interviewed as man of the match after the game.

“At the start I tried to look around and let it soak it in,” commented a young player who had never before set foot on the MCG.

“We stuck to what we knew and backed ourselves in which was nice,” remarked Jack Riewoldt post match.

Richmond have won their last 10 home and away matches and will be hoping to continue their form built around midfield pressure throughout the 2015 season.