Tigers down Suns in one-sided AFL contest

Richmond have geared up for the AFL finals, showing no mercy to an injury-hit Gold Coast with an 83-point win at the MCG.

In captain Trent Cotchin’s 150th match, the Tigers strolled to a 22.6 (138) to 8.7 (55) percentage-boosting victory.

A career-best match from Kane Lambert and vintage displays from Cotchin and Dustin Martin were supported by strong finishing in the Tigers forward line.

Richmond could barely miss in front of goal with Martin, Sam Lloyd and Brett Deledio finishing with three goals and Ty Vickery booting his fourth after the fulltime siren.

Without injuries or disciplinary issues, this was the perfect August outing for Damien Hardwick’s side, which improved to 12-7 and returned to sixth on the ladder.

In contrast, their was little to excite the few Suns fans at the MCG.

Steven May excelled in defence, Aaron Hall powered Gold Coast through the first half and Tom Lynch kicked three goals.

But the Suns were undone by injuries to sole ruckman Tom Nicholls, key forward Charlie Dixon and young gun Jack Martin, denting their competitiveness.

Nicholls was substituted at halftime after jarring his knee while Martin was stretchered from the ground after a sickening third-term concussion.

The 20-year-old recovered in the rooms, while Dixon played on after spraining his ankle.

Hardwick said the Suns “were always going to chase tail” with their injuries.

“To their credit, they still hung tough,” he said.

“The scoreboard wouldn’t say so but I thought they hung as tough as they could for as long as they could.”

Suns coach Rodney Eade said the loss of Nicholls, who is unlikely to play again this season with a PCL injury, ended their hopes.

“They just smashed us at stoppages,” he said.

“For a few of the guys who have had big seasons, the load got a bit too much.”

The Suns were in touch of the Tigers at halftime after a bizarre and almost bruise-free opening.

Richmond laid just one tackle to quarter-time, but had no trouble scoring.

In a five-minute blitz, the Tigers stretched their legs and the margin with Vickery, Lambert, Deledio and Shaun Grigg goals.

After the main change, Richmond roared away with six-straight goals to end the match as a contest.

Eight last-term goals completed the job for the Tigers, who won’t have given up on a top-four finish with three rounds remaining.

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