Richmond Tigers stun Sydney Swans in thriller to give Adem Yze first win

Tyler Sonsie and Shai Bolton celebrate during Richmond’s clash against Sydney in round three, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

RICHMOND has landed its first win under Adem Yze in style, upsetting Sydney in an Easter Sunday thriller.

A five-goal third term set up the upset win for the Tigers, who ran out 11.16 (82) to 11.11 (77) victors in front of a vocal MCG crowd.

TIGERS v SWANS Full match coverage and stats

Tom Lynch (three goals, six marks) wreaked havoc on the Swans’ defence in the third quarter, with Dane Rampe subbed out of the game with hamstring tightness. The Tiger took advantage of moments of poor organisation to take control inside 50.

The only blemish on the Tigers’ day was a hamstring injury to Lynch, who left the field during the final term.

Tim Taranto (35 disposals, eight clearances) was huge around the footy and Nick Vlastuin (29 disposals, 15 intercept possessions) was a brick wall in defence, intercepting the ball at will.

In a game many expected them to struggle in, the Tigers stood strong, bringing dangerous movement on ground level, while regularly side stepping their Swans opponents. They identified ground balls as key to keeping the Swans on the back foot and went to work at the contest to maintain a stronghold.

It took some time for Sydney’s elite skills to show up. Impacted by Richmond’s oppressive style of play, the visitors were prone to fumbling regulation marks and missing targets by foot that they would typically hit with ease.

James Rowbottom was simply immense for Sydney, with 19 disposals and 13 tackles for the day as the side’s most consistent performer across the course of the game, while Brodie Grundy (23 disposals, 21 hitouts) and Errol Gulden (25 disposals and a goal) recovered from a poor start to have a say in the Swans’ final-quarter press.

Under the afternoon sun, Sydney’s forward line struggled to read the ball in attack early, and Richmond capitalised on that lack of connection, often triple-teaming the Swans’ deepest forward in the air and rebounding back out.

Although without Dylan Grimes, Richmond’s backline – bolstered by Nathan Broad and Tylar Young – played smart footy, at times simply showing its experience over young Sydney tall forwards Logan McDonald and Joel Amartey. The latter pair were also not helped by some uncharacteristically wayward kicking into attack from their teammates.

It wasn’t until the 17-minute mark of the second quarter that the Swans offered their signature line-breaking end-to-end transition run, resulting in McDonald’s second goal for the game. From there, it was the Sydney side fans have come to expect this year, running in waves, hitting targets in the corridor, and exposing the Tigers’ defence.

Richmond has now won its last two against the Swans, and will look to take the momentum into next week’s Gather Round match against St Kilda.

Lefau thriving without the pre-game chaos
Last week, Richmond’s SSP signing Mykelti Lefau earned his AFL debut, not without some chaos. Initially named as the sub, he was added to the starting side very, very late. This week, without the confusion before the opening siren, he was able to settle into the game and show why the Tigers picked him up. Offering blistering defensive speed without the ball, he bobbed up in attack to kick two goals, one a curling set shot from deep in attack, the other a long, straight kick from 50.

Fox’s moment
On the eve of half-time, as the Swans had started to take control of the game, utility Robbie Fox stood strong. Matt Roberts sent the ball into Sydney’s front half, and Fox took his opportunity, flying at the footy to take an impressive high mark over Richmond ruck Toby Nankervis. The mark was a highlight in itself, but importantly, the Swan went back and coolly slotted the set shot as the half-time siren rang out to give his side an eight-point lead at the main break.

A case to answer for Baker?
Important Tiger Liam Baker will face a nervous wait after a clumsy effort in the second quarter. After Richmond kicked long to the paint of its forward 50, Swan Lewis Melican leapt to take an intercept mark as Baker floated in back with the flight in an effort to equal the aerial contest. In the process, he made contact with Melican. After an ensuing scuffle, Melican got up to take his kick, and was taken from the field soon after, but played out the match without issue.

RICHMOND          4.3     5.9     10.13     11.16 (82)
SYDNEY               2.1     7.5       8.9       11.11 (77)

Richmond: Lynch 3, Lefau 2, Bolton 2, Baker 2, Taranto, Mansell
McDonald 3, Heeney 2, Amartey 2, Papley, Gulden, Fox, Blakey

Richmond: D.Rioli, Taranto, Vlastuin, Lynch, Bolton
Rowbottom, Heeney, Lloyd, Fox, Grundy

Richmond: Lynch (hamstring)
Rampe (hamstring tightness)

Richmond: Sam Banks (replaced Mykelti Lefau in the fourth quarter)
Corey Warner (replaced Dane Rampe at half-time)

Crowd: 45,112 at the MCG

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