RICHMOND has continued its march toward September with a 38-point win over Port Adelaide at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers led by three goals at quarter-time and were never seriously challenged on their way to a 15.11 (101) to 9.9 (63) victory.
It was Richmond’s fourth win in succession and leaves the Tigers well-placed to launch an assault on a top-four berth, while the Power have lost four of their past six and will find themselves a game and percentage outside the eight at the conclusion of the round.
Richmond were well led by superstar Dustin Martin who racked up 30 possessions, won five clearances, kicked one goal and drove the football inside 50 eight times in a performance that will surely see him garner the three Brownlow medal votes.
Martin received great support from Dion Prestia (30 disposals, six clearances, five inside 50s and one major) and Brandon Ellis (27 touches and one goal).
Tom Lynch and Jack Riewoldt played their best game as a combination, the former finishing the day with 19 possessions, nine marks and three goals while the latter also bagged three majors.
David Astbury and Dylan Grimes were virtually impassable in defence, while Bachar Houli generated enormous drive out of the back half with 28 disposals at 96.4 per cent efficiency.
Karl Amon was a positive for Port Adelaide with 28 possessions and two goals, while Travis Boak continued his fine solo season with 29 disposals, six clearances and two goal assists.
Charlie Dixon looked ominous at times but managed just the one goal in what was a dirty afternoon for Ken Hinkley’s team which could only conjure up seven majors from 45 inside 50s.
Richmond obliterated the Power on the periphery in the early going, surging the football forward by hand as they produced the first three majors of the contest.
The Power had to wait until the 15-minute mark to get their first goal of the day, with emerging talent Zak Butters kicking truly before making it two in as many minutes to steady the visitors.
Port Adelaide went into quarter-time 18 points in arrears, but it could have been a whole different story had they made the most of their opportunities with Connor Rozee, Dougal Howard and Dixon all butchering gettable shots on goal.
When Riewoldt snapped truly to start the second it appeared to be a matter of how far for Richmond, but Dixon imposed himself on the contest. The aggressive forward banged one home before taking the football out of the ruck and setting up a major for Amon.
The Power closed to within 11 points in the second term, but were powerless to stop Richmond’s run and carry as the Tigers put through the final two majors of the half to go into the main break with a handy 23-point buffer.
Xavier Duursma has made an impression in his debut season, not least for his bow and arrow goal celebration. The Rising Star nominee slotted a set shot from the pocket midway through the third-quarter and duly fired off an invisible arrow into the crowd.
Port barely fired off a shot from that point, with majors to Ellis, Jason Castagna and Ivan Soldo giving Richmond a six-goal lead that proved to be a bridge too far for the Power.
Next on the agenda for Richmond is a Friday night bout with Collingwood at what is bound to be a packed MCG, while Port Adelaide will be hoping to rediscover their mojo when they square off against Greater Western Sydney at Adelaide Oval next Saturday night.
RICHMOND: 5.4 8.5 12.7 15.11 (101)
PORT ADELAIDE: 2.4 4.6 7.7 9.9 (63)
RICHMOND: Lynch 3, Riewoldt 3, Prestia, Martin, Graham, Chol, Ellis, Castagna, Soldo
PORT ADELAIDE: Amon 2, Butters 2, Dixon, Howard, Duursma, Sutcliffe
RICHMOND: Martin, Lynch, Prestia, Houli, Ellis, Grimes, Astbury
PORT ADELAIDE: Amon, Boak, Byrne-Jones, Rockliff, Broadbent, Dixon
PORT ADELAIDE: Houston (head knock)
ATTENDANCE: 41,642 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground