Tigers close in on top four after fourth win in a row
RICHMOND are coming for the AFL's top four and Port Adelaide's finals hopes hang in the balance after the Tigers' 38-point win at the MCG on Saturday.
The 15.11 (101) to 9.9 (63) victory extends the Tigers' winning streak to four games and lifts them to outright fifth on the ladder.
The Tigers led throughout and were never seriously troubled by a Port side that sorely missed injured co-captain Ollie Wines.
At a time when the whips are cracking for the finals contenders, everything looks to be coming together for the 2017 premiers.
Dustin Martin and Dion Prestia (30 disposals and a goal each) starred in the midfield, Tom Lynch (three majors) was again among the Tigers' best and Dylan Grimes (eight marks) anchored a superb backline performance.
Having undergone knee surgery during the off-season, Lynch has built slowly in his first season for the Tigers and now has 12 goals from his past four games.
The former Gold Coast key forward capped off a strong performance in the final term when he gathered a loose ball off a fortunate bounce, fended off Port opponent Tom Clurey and snapped a stellar goal off his left boot.
Richmond will be nervous about an incident involving midfielder Jack Graham that left Port youngster Dan Houston dazed late in the game.
Graham was paid a holding-the-ball free kick but his tackle, which slammed Houston's head into the turf, will attract match review scrutiny.
Port were on the wrong side of more questionable umpiring in the form of a 50m penalty paid against Justin Westhoff, who was pinged for attempting to keep alive an inbound kick from a teammate that hugged the boundary line.
The gulf in class and toughness between the two sides was nonetheless evident throughout with Karl Amon (28 disposals, two goals) one of Port's few strong performers.
Having relentlessly targeted Lachie Neale last week in a predetermined plan to "terrorise" the Brisbane star, Cam Sutcliffe proved to be a non-factor against the Tigers.
Sutcliffe lined up next to Tigers playmaker Bachar Houli at the start but did not have a set job and floated in and out of the game.
The loss leaves ninth-placed Port a game outside the top eight and needing to beat GWS next week to keep their finals hopes alive.