Strong and bold Tigers of old bake Pies

RICHMOND might have missed out on finals in the 2023 AFL Women’s, but the Tigers certainly have plenty to drawn upon from in their final outing. The Tigers needed all the results going their way to reach finals, and though they ultimately fell short by a poor percentage, they helped that with a dominant 62-point win over Collingwood.

The Magpies needed to win by a fair margin to secure finals after a forgettable loss to Sydney in Round 9. Prior to that, Collingwood looked set to lock up a finals spot, which had spurred off the back of a monumental win over Brisbane up north. However the losses of Lauren Butler and Ruby Schleicher in the last couple of rounds was a throwback to the start of the season where the Magpies struggled, and they could not match the run of the Tigers late.

In one of, if not the best quarter Richmond has produced, the Tigers slammed home 7.2 (44) to 0.1 (1) in the last term, to run away 11.11 (77) to 4.1 (25) winners at Victoria Park. In a cruel juxtaposition for Pies fans, with the 2023 AFL Premiership Cup on display, the black and white army watched as their side was denied a chance at becoming the first team to do the double across the two competitions.

Though as disappointing as the Magpies were in the final term – and indeed the second half after leading by four points at half-time – full credit goes to Richmond who put the foot down and showed just what it was capable of at its brutal best.

Richmond’s stars all dominated with Monique Conti putting on a masterclass of 34 disposals, 11 clearances, eight tackles and a goal, while Katie Brennan kicked four goals from 18 disposals and six marks, breaking her personal best goals tally after a couple of three-goal hauls in her 52-game AFLW career.

The work of Grace Egan (25 disposals, five marks and four clearances) and Eilish Sheerin (24 disposals, four marks, seven tackles and six clearances) supported Conti around the stoppages. Though beaten in the hitouts (30-38), the Tigers smashed the Magpies at the coalface with 36 clearances to 22, including 27-15 around the ground. They had 12 more intercept possessions and 12 less turnovers in a clinical performance.

Perhaps the biggest hole for the Magpies in the loss came in the defensive 50, where the Tigers found targets everywhere. Highlighted by Brennan’s elite performance inside the arc, Richmond took 14 marks inside 50 to the Magpies’ two, while clunking 56-29 around the ground, including 7-2 contested.

In every area the Tigers took control with 27 shots on goal to seven, a plus-71 in disposals, as well as plus-38 contested possessions and plus-40 uncontested possessions. It has been a long season riddled with injuries on and off for both sides, and while neither will contest the Season 8 finals series, both will be glad to get to the off-season and reset for Season 9.

For Richmond though, the final round performance will give plenty of confidence to the team as the yellow and black can head to the AFLW off-season. The Magpies will have two picks inside the top 11, and be able to bring in some quality talents.

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