Nick Riewoldt and his St Kilda teammates Fought Like Maddie to give Richmond a massive scare in Sunday’s AFL clash at Etihad Stadium.
The Saints kicked six goals to nil in the final term, but Richmond held on to win 13.11 (89) to 10.13 (73).
A loss would have been disastrous for the Tigers, who remain one game outside the top four.
The game was promoted as Fight Like Maddie, a tribute to Nick Riewoldt’s sister Madeleine, who was only 26 when she died in February of bone marrow failure.
Riewoldt and his cousin Jack, the Richmond spearhead, extensively promoted the clash as a fundraiser for the foundation set up in her name.
The match attracted a bumper Sunday twilight crowd 45,772, the biggest crowd at Etihad Stadium this season, and $34,500 was raised for Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision.
The Saints skipper had to overcome a calf muscle injury to play and he appeared to be limping just before halftime.
But Riewoldt managed to stay on the field and he kicked the first goal of the last quarter.
Despite obviously not being at full fitness, he had 16 disposals, took nine marks and kicked 1.3.
The Saints were 52 points down at three-quarter time and had shown no signs that they could challenge.
Riewoldt’s goal sparked the Saints to life, but the Tigers held on in the last few minutes despite only managing three behinds in the final quarter.
Earlier this season, the Saints overcame a 55-point deficit during the third term to overwhelm the Western Bulldogs.
Richmond had a five-goal run through the second and third quarters as they dominated the game.
Last year’s No.1 draft pick Paddy McCartin returned for St Kilda, meaning he and Riewoldt played together for the first time.
But the Tigers defence was too good in the first three quarters for the tall forward combination of Riewoldt, McCartin and Josh Bruce.
The Saints had only managed four goals to three-quarter time – all of them to midfielders.
Jack Riewoldt took a couple of strong marks and kicked 2.4.
Midfielder Brett Deledio starred for the Tigers with 28 disposals, while Saints onballer David Armitage (28 possessions) continued his strong season.