RICHMOND, so often pilloried for their disposal in recent years, showed poise and polish in shrugging off Geelong to win their third-round NAB Cup clash by 59 points at Simonds Stadium on Saturday.
Richmond put the match out of Geelong’s reach by clearing away to a 10-goal lead halfway through the second quarter, and controlled the second half on the way to a comfortable 1.14.15 (108) to 0.6.13 (49) victory.
For full match replays 12 hours after the game, go to AFL VIDEOS under the screen
Dustin Martin was the standout player in the brief period in which the match was still alive, collecting 12 possessions in a bustling performance in the opening quarter.
Fellow midfielders Nathan Foley and Trent Cotchin were also damaging, while Jack Riewoldt was lively up forward against Tom Lonergan.
Riewoldt, who played deeper than he did last week in the 38-point loss to Fremantle, ended up with four goals without ever dominating the game.
After the Tigers kicked the first nine goals, Steven Motlop finally got the Cats on the scoreboard at the 16-minute mark of the second quarter, Geelong finally getting their hands on the football after Richmond had 10 of the first 11 centre clearances of the term.
Richmond was missing Brett Deledio (hamstring) and Reece Conca (suspension), while five players who were named in the squad of 29 were pulled out of the match and instead lined up with Coburg Tigers in the curtain-raiser.
Geelong went into the match without nine premiership players: Jimmy Bartel, Corey Enright, Joel Selwood, Andrew Mackie, Travis Varcoe, David Wojcinski, Harry Taylor, Mathew Stokes and Josh Hunt.
Hunt returns from suspension next week.
Fellow premiership players Matthew Scarlett, Joel Corey, James Kelly, Paul Chapman, Steve Johnson, James Podsiadly, and Allen Christensen all returned against the Tigers, with Kelly the best of the seven against the Tigers.
Billie Smedts was clearly the pick of Geelong’s many young players, and his strong and creative game should earn him a spot in the team for the round one match against Fremantle at Patersons Stadium.
Of Richmond’s young players, Brandon Ellis was clean and precise at half-back and Addam Maric was dangerous at half-forward.
By the last quarter, every Richmond player was getting his share of the ball as Geelong limped towards the final siren.
Statistics and article provided by the afl.com