Richmond have paid a high price for their hard-fought 19-point AFL win over Essendon at the MCG, with star veteran Brett Deledio suffering a calf injury.
Dustin Martin starred as the Tigers battled out a 16.6 (102) to 11.17 (83) win over the undermanned Bombers on Saturday, doing so without Deledio in the second half.
Martin put in another eye-catching display with 43 possessions and two goals strengthening his position in the Brownlow Medal race.
John Worsfold’s team trailed by just one point with less than 10 minutes left in the game, but were left to rue poor goalkicking again after the Tigers finished the stronger side in front of 44,908 fans.
But coming off a spirited loss to St Kilda, the Bombers’ pressure was immense early.
Richmond were rattled as Essendon jumped out earlier to a 19-point lead, but Trent Cotchin and Martin steadied the ship and a brilliant Sam Lloyd dribbled goal helped their side regain momentum.
The Tigers put on six unanswered goals to level the scores at the first break then edge ahead to an eight-point lead at halftime.
Zach Merrett, who finished with 34 touches, was important as Essendon stemmed the bleeding to trail by two goals at three-quarter-time then Joe Daniher, scoreless to that point, banged through two goals in the final term as the Dons made their move.
A disappointing season for Richmond looked set for a new low in front of home fans but, to their credit, not to mention great relief, they booted the last three goals of the game to register their seventh win.