Melbourne has notched back-to-back wins for the first time in five years after a pulsating 33-point win over Richmond at the MCG on Sunday.
Paul Roos’ side broke that hoodoo in fine style, responding to every challenge to record the 20.9 (129) to 14.12 (96) victory.
The at-times spiteful contest boiled over into an all-in melee at quarter time but the Demons upped the ante to lead by 22 points at halftime.
Richmond sliced that margin to seven points in a resurgent third quarter but the Demons finished the gruelling encounter strongly, thrilling the crowd.
Melbourne’s dash and dare were a delight to watch but perhaps the most pleasing aspect for Roos was the maturity and poise shown by his charges when the Tigers came at them again and again.
Max Gawn was superb in the ruck, Jeff Garlett was lively all night with four goals and Jack Viney, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince, Nathan Jones and Jack Watts were all influential.
Richmond were by no means disgraced without the injured Brett Deledio, who still hasn’t played this season with a quad injury, but they sit well off the pace with just one win and four losses.
Once again they relied on too few, with Trent Cotchin, Jack Riewoldt, Shane Edwards and Alex Rance forced to carry too much of the load.
Adding to their woes was an ugly incident late in the game when Rance drove his forearm into the back of Watts’ head as he lay on the turf.