The murmurings had been around for days that Rowan Marshall wouldn’t get up for this game off a five-day break and that St Kilda were also contemplating resting Zak Jones given the midfielder’s injury history. Ratten said on game eve that both men were on track to play, but either he was being a bit cheeky or things changed at some stage between Wednesday morning and Thursday night. As it turned out, both men were replaced, and it was a clear downgrade with their respective understudies. Recycled ruckman Paul Hunter kicked the first goal of his AFL career early in the game but was largely ineffectual, even tapping the ball straight to Shane Edwards for a third term major Richmond’s way. Dunstan, once billed as a future captain of the Saints, was playing his first senior game since round one last year and seemed to struggle with the weight of knowing this could be his last chance for a while. A shank out on the full was an all-too-familiar sight for St Kilda supporters. Meanwhile Ben Long was the medical substitute for the third week running. In his 50th game, the hard-nosed defender got a run after Jimmy Webster went off with a groin injury.
Things have not gone to plan for Bradley Hill since the wingman joined the Saints, and Thursday night brought yet another moment to forget. With his side on top in general play early in the second term, Hill dropped a straightforward mark at half-back, allowing Richmond to pounce with Marlion Pickett capitalising. Not only did Hill drop the ball, his second effort also left something to be desired.
Dual premiership Tiger Pickett’s career has been about as unorthodox as they come, so it was on-brand that the 184-centimetre West Australian chipped in as Richmond’s relief ruckman during the third quarter on Thursday night while Toby Nankervis had a spell. Pickett had not previously recorded a hitout in his 24 AFL matches before this game but looked relatively competent when pinch-hitting. He’d occasionally been used in the role when playing for South Fremantle in the WAFL.
BEST: Richmond: Graham, Edwards, Riewoldt, Nankervis, Martin, Bolton, Lambert, Castagna, Baker
St Kilda: Clark, Steele, Coffield, Battle
J. Graham (Rich) 8
S. Edwards (Rich) 8
J. Riewoldt (Rich) 8
T. Nankervis (Rich) 7
D. Martin (Rich) 7