The Courier-Mail

Tigers’ for­tunes bet­ter by half

- BRUCE MATTHEWS

TWIN talls Jack Riewoldt and Ty Vick­ery re­flected Rich­mond’s starkly con­trast­ing workrates against North Mel­bourne last night.

Al­most ir­rel­e­vant in the first half, they were key com­po­nents of the in­evitable come­back against a ridicu­lously un­der­strength North.

The pair shared a mea­gre five touches when the Tigers were stunned by the Kan­ga­roos’ bruis­ing in­tent for the first two quar­ters that threat­ened a mon­u­men­tal up­set at Eti­had Sta­dium.

But Riewoldt and Vick­ery stood up when re­quired, shar­ing four goals and set­ting up a cou­ple more amid the lastquar­ter scor­ing splurge of the 41-point win that re­ally glossed over far more ur­gent Rich­mond con­cerns head­ing into a fi­nals cam­paign.

Yes, the Tigers found a way back from a tardy start as a top-eight team should at this stage of the sea­son. The nine­goal last quar­ter was their best against the Roos since 1995.

But the in­abil­ity to find and feed Riewoldt and Vick­ery for nearly three quar­ters will be scru­ti­nised by fel­low fi­nal­ists.

It was no sur­prise Rich­mond’s re­sponse af­ter the dis­mal first half would start with ever re­li­able and clean ball­han­dlers Brett Dele­dio and Trent Cotchin at the cen­tre bounces for the start of the third quar­ter.

Even when North Mel­bourne skipped to a 16-point lead, the Tigers were show­ing re­newed en­deav­our and hunger for the con­test.

Bachar Houli was prom­i­nent across the mid­field and up for­ward to help fuel the fight­back.

His long goal on the run was the first time the Tigers army had found their roar.

It sparked a run of five Tiger goals in a row to race to a 16point lead.

 ??  ?? RE­SPONSE: Brett Dele­dio.
RE­SPONSE: Brett Dele­dio.

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