Dusty inspires jaw-dropping Tigers comeback
An undermanned Richmond pulled off a famous win led by Dustin Martin as they came from behind to beat the Giants by four points.
For the Tigers, it proved where there’s a ‘Dusty’ there’s a way, as the champion pulled his side back from the brink with four goals and 28 disposals.
After a tight opening quarter, a Jesse Hogan purple patch in which he kicked three goals in four minutes had the Giants out to a 27-point lead early in the second term.
Two straight goals to Dustin Martin put the Tigers back in the contest before another goal to Hogan followed by a crisp Bobby Hill finish made sure the Giants held a 21-point halftime lead.
The Giants kicked away to lead by 28 points at the 17-minute mark of the third quarter and looked to have all but wrapped up the game as momentum sat squarely with the orange tsunami.
But four goals in 10 minutes to finish the third term had Richmond just three points down and full of belief at the final change.
When the Giants kicked the first two of the last quarter it looked to be slipping away from the Tigers, but goals to Jack Riewoldt and Martin had them two points down with just minutes to play.
Enter Daniel Rioli.
The goal sneak got on the end of a rushed kick forward before snapping on his left to give Richmond the most unlikely of leads.
A late Tim Taranto snap with under a minute to go was touched on the line as the Tigers held on for an extraordinary win.
Damien Hardwick broke the glass in case of an emergency at halftime which re-energised the Tigers and gave them some unusual line-ups around the ground at centre-bounces.
Nick Vlastuin started the second half in the centre – a move which was trialled in 2016 – but after it was unsuccessful the 27-year-old was moved back to his more recognisable role in the defence.
Perhaps the most bizarre look Hardwick threw at the Giants was starting Marlion Pickett in the ruck at a centre bounce while Toby Nankervis moved out to a wing. Despite its success, it was short lived as the two reversed positions at the next bounce.
But Hardwick wasn’t done there, as key forward Tom Lynch also had his opportunity on the wing.
The Giants led for most of the game. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Four minutes. Four marks inside 50. Three goals.
A fit and firing Hogan reminded everyone what he’s capable of with the hottest four minutes of footy from a key forward in 2021.
It all started at the four-and-a-half-minute mark as the Giants enjoyed clean footy out of the middle.
Jacob Hopper capitalised with two slick passes inside 50 to Hogan for two goals, before the hulking forward sprayed his third set shot to the right.
But his fourth mark in four minutes proved more fruitful as he went back and slotted his third goal from 45 metres out.
Opposition teams look out, the Giants’ midfield engine is humming again.
Despite only leading clearances by four at halftime, the Giants’ prime movers were able to outwork their opponents around the ground and were pivotal in giving their side a 21-point advantage.
The nucleus of Jacob Hopper (35 disposals and a goal), Tim Taranto (32), Tom Green (24 and a goal), and Josh Kelly (27 and a goal) had the ball pinging as the orange tsunami looked to have returned.
As the Tigers fought to give themselves a sniff deep into the final term, a Dustin Martin soccer goal brought the house down.
But unfortunately for the goal umpire he was in the way as Martin lunged on the line with full momentum, cleaning up the goal umpire.
Unfortunately, he was substituted out of the game with a popped shoulder with just minutes to go.
Tigers 3.0 6.2 10.5 13.9 87
Giants 4.3 9.5 10.8 12.11 83
MOTTERSHEAD’S BEST Tigers: Martin, Baker, Nankervis, Collier-Dawkins, Short. Giants: Hopper, Kelly, Taranto, Hogan, Green.
GOALS Tigers: Martin 4, Aarts 2, Collier-Dawkins 2, Lynch, Nankervis, Castagna, Riewoldt, Rioli. Giants: Hogan 4, Greene, Kelly, Green, Ward, Hill, O’Halloran, Hopper, Lloyd.
INJURIES Tigers: nil. Giants: Perryman (hamstring).
UMPIRES Foot, Hosking, Deboy.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
JAMES MOTTERSHEAD’S VOTES
3 D.Martin (Rich)
2 J.Hopper (GWS)
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