Richmond have provided Tiger fans with some joy after thumping North Ballarat by 82 points at the ME Bank Centre in round four of Peter Jackson VFL. The Tigers were impressive from the outset with their ball movement and pressure, eventually powering away from the Roosters to win 19.15.129 to 6.11.47.
Tall forwards Liam McBean, five goals, and Tyrone Vickery, 3, impressed as did Matt Dea in defence and Matthew Arnot with 24 disposals. North Ballarat had few winners with defenders Luke Kiel, 22 touches and Matt Austin among their best and midfielders Nick Rippon (27) and Trent Dumont (22, 8 marks) trying hard in a disappointing performance.
Fans had barely settled into their seats in the Jack Dyer Stand by the time the Tigers had the first two goals on the board. Their height in the forward line was providing the Rooster’s defenders with plenty of headaches and after an entertaining first quarter they held a fourteen point lead.
Tough Tiger's midfielder, Matt Thomas, failed to appear after the first break after having nine touches in the quarter as the home side continued their heavy pressure with and without the footy. Connor Menadue kicked two goals in the second quarter for the Tigers and Vickery and McBean continued their form on opponents Joel Tippett and Sam Durdin.
By half-time the Tigers had cleared out to a handy 35-point lead 9.9.63 to 4.4.28. Rooster's coach,Gerard Fitzgerald, moved Bryce Curnow from defence to attack in the second half to immediate effect as he goaled three minutes in.
Richmond slammed on the next four goals however, to blow the margin out beyond 50 points, outclassing their opponents with slicker ball movement and hard running. Shaun Hampson (41 hitouts) was having the better of his ex-teammate, Orren Stephenson, in the ruck, with the later eventually playing deep in attack.
At the final change, the Tigers were in complete control leading by 50 points. Nick Wynne and Ed 'Cheese' Barlow were busy and Jason Castagna was creative through the midfield with his leg speed.
For the second week in a row North Ballarat were held goalless in the final term in a worrying sign for coach Fitzgerald. Richmond coach Tim Clarke, however, could be well satisfied his group, after a narrow loss to Geelong the week before to come out and outclass a finalist from last year was pleasing.
The Tigers had nine more inside fifties for seventeen more scoring shots with far more options in attack while the Roosters failed to find a multiple goalkicker. Despite Hampson's dominance in the ruck, the clearances were even (34-31), however the Tigers had 59 more handballs (195-136) indicating their will to run and carry the ball towards their tall forwards.
Both sides have big matches in round five with Richmond facing rival Collingwood at home in the Channel 7 televised match of the day. North Ballarat gets a rare opportunity playing in an AFL curtain-raiser away to the Northern Blues at Etihad Stadium.
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