Richmond coach Damien Hardwick called it an ugly win and for three quarters against GWS, it was very ugly.
At three-quarter time on a wet MCG, his Tigers were behind the injury-struck Giants by 15 points with just five goals to their name.
After doubling that to earn a precious 10.18 (78) to 10.9 (69) victory, Hardwick could see just one major positive.
“It’s one of those wins that you put the four points in the bank and you move on,” he said.
With the temperature stuck in single digits through a bleak afternoon, Tigers fans in the 35,968 crowd would have been tempted to move on at three-quarter time.
But rewarding their patience, Richmond finally returned to the form that earned them super away wins over Sydney and Fremantle last month.
Jack Riewoldt, easily the Tigers’ best forward, started the comeback with a 50 metre bomb and midfield warrior Shane Edwards sealed it with a mark and finish inside the final minute.
In between were moments of high drama as both the Tigers and Giants threatened.
Jeremy Cameron momentarily stopped the GWS dam from bursting, responding with a fine snap goal.
But Edwards’ stunning solo clearance and goal from the restart followed by a nice captain’s effort from Trent Cotchin won back the momentum.
Looking on the bright side, Hardwick said their fourth-term revival was a sign of maturity.
“GWS to their credit were outstanding in their endeavour, their attack on the ball … for the vast majority they probably outplayed us,” he said.
“Probably 12 months ago, 18 months ago, we lose that game.
“There’s a positive out of it although we didn’t play anywhere near as well as we would have liked.”
Richmond stay sixth with their eighth win of the year, while the Giants third loss in a row keeps them ninth.
Hardwick commended Cotchin’s effort, who was clearly best afield but could face match review panel scrutiny.
The Tigers skipper’s late and clumsy attempted spoil in the first term caught the head of Zac Williams and sparked a mass melee.
While Cotchin’s name was not taken, Maric went in the book for a head-high elbow on Jack Steele in the third quarter in a rucking contest.
Giants midfielder Toby Greene’s spit in the direction of former team-mate Anthony Miles could also be reviewed.
GWS coach Leon Cameron said his side’s fade out was frustrating.
“It’s disappointing, because you win two quarters, draw one and just get beaten in the last,” he said.
“I thought for three and a half quarters we made Richmond earn every possession.
“Effort was there but for 15 or 20 minutes they didn’t deliver on the basic fundamentals.”