Footy is back, and there are some hopeful signs through the grades for Richmond fans to ease the pain of the dismal scoreboard.
While the top side is left hobbled after injuries from its loss to Carlton on Thursday, the Richmond VFL side showed it had some Tiger left in the tank to kick the last five goals of the final quarter in its 77-point loss to the Blues in the final pre-season hit-out.
Two goals came from youngster Noah Cumberland who has impressed this preseason.
Richmond footy aficionado Brenton Mann reports that the late burst came after senior coach Steve Morris addressed the players at three-quarter time. The side was ignited by Sydney Stack and Cumberland up forward, both showcasing their aerial skills, he says.
"Stack was the first to soar above the pack inside-50, juggling a strong contested mark and converting his set-shot from a smidge inside the paint. Cumberland then parked himself under a high ball inside the goal square, launching vertically at the ball and clutching another strong contested mark."
With round one of the VFL underway this weekend, Richmond is set to play Southport, which finished second in the VFL last year, on Sunday at the Swinburne Centre.
In the AFL, Tigers' forward Jack Riewoldt (suspected thumb fracture) and midfielder Dion Prestia (hamstring) are expected to be absent for the immediate future.
Richmond's Firsts have booked their place in the preliminary finals next weekend against Casey-South Melbourne after notching up impressive victories in their respective elimination and semi-finals fixtures against Geelong (seven runs) and Melbourne (five wickets).
Against Geelong, opening batsman Shobit Singh set the tone for the day with a well compiled 72 to take Richmond to 200, while bowlers Reiley Mark (4-42), Sam Mills (3-30) and Dylan Tibballs (2-34) were a constant threat throughout the second innings.
Across both games, Andrew Humphries was in some fine touch with consecutive half centuries (50* and 58*).
The Seconds finals campaign will last another week after a thrilling two-wicket victory over Geelong with opening batsman Daniel Scholz the match winner after a crucial 66 not out, his third half century of the 2021-22 season and his second in the past three games.
Scholz, who carried his bat throughout the innings, forged an important 49-run partnership with skipper Aaron Cross (23) after the side was in trouble at 3-39. Scholz too formed important partnerships with Jacob Hinds (13) and Jordan Hesline (17) to see them overhaul the 15 in the 46th over.
Joshua Carroll (2-37), Tobias Keath (2-29) and Hesline (2-25) all took multiple wickets, and played a huge part in restricting Geelong to a total of 153 which almost proved too much.
Unfortunately for Richmond's Fourths their season is over as they went down to Frankston Peninsula, falling short by 49 runs in pursuit of 172. First drop Ethan Stones top scored with 34 while bowler Dulith Mihiripenna picked up 2-35 off nine overs.
Nearby Melbourne Girls Grammar celebrated at the weekend, with the highest-ever contingent of crews qualifying for an A final in this year's Head of Schoolgirls Regatta.
In a close repeat of last year's Division 1 final, the Merton crew went stroke for stroke with its rivals from St. Catherine's for most of the 1500m race. In the dying stages of the race, St Catherine's pulled away to take the win.
In total, 22 MGGS crews reached A finals in their divisions, the best result in the school's history of rowing. In those finals, 19 medals were won - five gold, nine silver and five bronze.
Over the weekend, 131 MGGS rowers represented the school among more 2200 competitors.
The Richmond Harriers Tigers5 run was a raging success as it returned for its sixth consecutive year last Thursday night. Created by club life member Joji Mori in 2017 to increase athletic participation in the community, this year's event was held at the George Knott Athletics Field in Clifton Hill and saw a record 200 people participate in seven 5000 metre races.
Commonwealth Games marathoner. Sarah Klein finished second in the Women's Group A with a time of 16.19.61, while Simon Tu was the best of the Harriers in Men's Group C who also had a time of 16.19 minutes.