Resurgent Richmond unleashed a premiership quarter reminiscent of their glory years to turn a position of concern into command against Port Adelaide and leap into the top eight.
After the Power fractionally had the better of the second term, Miles Bergman goaled inside the opening 30 seconds of the third stanza to slice the margin to two points.
Shai Bolton proved hard to pin down by the Power as he starred for the Tigers.Credit:AFL Photos
But the Tigers pounced, emphatically, combining chaotic ball movement with manic pressure to leave Port reeling and ultimately plunging to their fourth successive defeat with a 38-point loss.
Shai Bolton looked lethal every time he approached the footy and despite being shadowed closely by Ryan Burton, still finished a busy night of peppering the scoreboard with a 4.4 haul.
His match-winning bag was matched by Tom Lynch, who jagged three of Richmond’s seven goals for the term and eventually forcing Power coach Ken Hinkley to move Trent McKenzie off him, replaced by the taller Aliir Aliir.
The only blemish was an injury to star defender Nick Vlastuin, who was substituted out after having his ribs crunched by airborne Charlie Dixon’s knee in the opening seconds of the second half.
Jack Riewoldt gets a handball away.Credit:Getty Images
The Tigers were on song early, controlling the corridor and forcing Port into repeated errors in their back half.
The brilliant but enigmatic Bolton missed two early shots – he could only muster five behinds the last time the two sides crossed swords in round 13 – before making neat amends.
He followed a pack mark against Xavier Duursma and Burton with a goal on the quarter-time siren before finishing the first half in style.
Bolton sidestepped Karl Amon and Darcy Byrne-Jones and finished magnificently around the corner with two seconds remaining on the clock to stretch Richmond’s lead to eight points after the Power managed to tidy things up. “How do you stop this guy,” Fox Footy commentator David King exclaimed.
Port’s tried-and-true engine room contingent of Travis Boak, Ollie Wines and Willem Drew paced Port’s second-revival from the centre square before Richmond turned the tables and savaged them in the third stanza.
Trent Cotchin’s playmaking was of the highest order and Dion Prestia’s work at the contest was brutally efficient, feeding off the aerial dominance of Toby Nankervis, who completely outmatched second-gamer Brynn Tackle in ruck.
Bolton showcased his full bag of tricks in the fourth term, his wayward finishing – a season-long Achilles heel – the only drawback of his night out.
JACK IN THE PACK
He has done it so many times across his glorious 323-game career that it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Jack Riewoldt had eyes only on the footy when he plucked a magnificent mark midway through the third term. Jayden Short’s deep entry was snaffled by Riewoldt, running back with the flight of the footy, Tom Jonas on his hammer and Aliir and Teakle both oncoming. Riewoldt’s fearlessness was rewarded when he converted the goal as Richmond continued to press home their advantage.
Connor Rozee sent a scare through the Power camp midway through the second period when he sprained his left knee while attempting to lay a tackle on Noah Balta, moments after turning the footy over. Rozee limped off the ground before coming back on with his knee strapped after half-time. He was serviceable, often without looking 100 per cent, but he showed no ill-effects of the injury when he climbed on Daniel Rioli’s back for a superb mark in the fourth stanza, before converting.
Also in that term, Darcy Byrne-Jones received treatment after being hit high by a clumsy spoil from Kamdyn McIntosh. Byrne-Jones came back on and moved into attack but had no real impact.
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