Thursday night, footy returned with a bang as Richmond endured a second-half Port Adelaide fight to take a key 12-point win and drag himself back into the top eight.
Connor Rozee’s stunning goal put the Power within three points of Richmond with less than five minutes to go, but it was Liam Baker’s major from a stoppage that proved the defining moment of the night in co-captain Dylan’s 200th game Grimes.
The controversy unfolded in the final term when Tom Jonas and Zak Butters collided head-on, leaving the latter bloodied and battered during the final term.
AFL Nation pundit Josh Jenkins wondered how both Jonas and Butters were allowed to return to the field moments later without taking a concussion test, which would have pretty much ruled them out for the rest of the game.
“This could decide the game because they used their sub (because of Trent Dumont’s calf injury),” he said.
“They both look like they should probably get a concussion test based on how they went off. I’d suggest Port Adelaide (could) be two down for the rest of the game.”
“(Tom) Jonas seems ready to show up, which is somewhat stunning and (Zak) Butters is strapped in and ready to show up, which is startling.
“To me, the vision seemed sufficient for a concussion test, but clearly not.”
Only 21,757 showed up for the first Thursday night game since April, the lowest number for a Richmond MCG home game (outside of the COVID-affected 2020 and 2021) since 2010.
Richmond flew out of the blocks, preying on Port Adelaide’s early mistakes to kick five goals to two in the opening term.
Debutant Judson Clarke had a barely credible start to his career. He kicked two goals with his first two kicks in a hugely impressive opening of his career – a moment that delighted his family and friends in the stands.
The Tigers scored six goals in a row after the Power started the first two of the game, before fighting back just before half-time to stay within eight points of the lead at the main substitution.
The big games continue to come for Richmond after Thursday night’s win, who will face Carlton in their second Thursday night encounter of the season after their opening round showdown.
Port Adelaide faces an equally rigorous test in Round 13 when they host the Swans, who take a upset win against Melbourne last Saturday night.
Richmond: 5.2, 6.4, 8.5, 11.11 (77)
Port of Adelaide: 2.1, 5.2, 8.4, 10.5 (65)
Richmond: Clarke 2, Martin 2, Baker, Riewoldt, Balta, Gibcus, Graham, McIntosh, Rioli
Port of Adelaide: Marshall 3, Amon, Finlayson, Powell-Pepper, Dixon, Farrell, Rozee, Wijnen
Richmond: Vlastuin, Prestia, Baker, Cotchin, Nankervis, Graham
Port of Adelaide: Marshall, Burton, Amon, Houston, Wines, Book
Port of Adelaide: Trent Dumont (calf), replaced by Martin Fredrick.
Crowd: 21,757 at the MCG