Tom Lynch kicks Richmond Tigers into the finals, booting eight goals against Hawthorn Hawks at the MCG

Tom Lynch kicks Richmond Tigers into the finals, booting eight goals against Hawthorn Hawks at the MCG

“Scores in particular were concerning but I think they’re [Richmond] playing some good footy, winning a lot of statistics over the last four to six weeks. I think they’re going to be formidable in the next few weeks as well.”

Some poor defensive structure from Hawthorn leaked goals to Richmond’s potent and crafty forward line, with nine different Tigers players contributing majors. They had no answers to Lynch’s height and damaging kicking boots.

When the Tigers moved the ball quickly, the Hawks struggled to get back and set up behind the ball fast enough. This was a particular issue in the opening term before Hawthorn tightened up in the second quarter, where each side kicked three apiece, but Richmond had already established a 28-point lead.

Jack Riewoldt flies high for the Tigers.Credit:AFL Pictures

From halfway through their nine-goal third quarter, Richmond seemed to just be having some fun, seeing how far they could push the margin, while Hawthorn were on damage control.

James Sicily was everywhere, applying defensive and offensive pressure, spending time at the coalface and kicking his first of the season. Jai Newcombe also finished the day was 29 disposals.

Dion Prestia was crafty as ever in the midfield and registered two goals, youngster Tyler Sonsie was impressive and Maurice Rioli did a lot with the ball whenever he got hands on it, but it really was all the Lynch show.

Can’t give Lynch an inch of space

Richmond’s key forward proved once again he can’t be given even a sliver of space, finishing the afternoon with eight goals, never missing once from a set shot. The tall marking target was a thorn in Hawthorn’s defensive side, able to repeatedly get his hands on the ball, taking seven contested marks and then finishing the job.

“There’s a reason key forwards are highly regarded,” said Hardwick. “You know, you’ve got to remember it’s the first full pre-season he’s had since he’s been at our footy club. Like he’s played off basically zero prep the other seasons we’ve had him, and it’s really significant that he does get the work in, comes in, and you see how big and strong he looks in the contest today … really pleased with his reward .”

Hardwick also said he was really pleased with Jack Riewoldt, acknowledging Lynch was on and allowed him the space to shine. “[Jack] got the hell out of his way, which is significant leadership shown by Jack but also the other forwards as well.”


Hawthorn defenders rotated matching up on Lynch, including Sicily, Emerson Jeka, James Blanck and Denver Grainger-Barras all having a go on the big man and attempting to put some bodywork on him. But whenever he was able to get in front, the ball was his.

With Richmond away from the main break onwards, the narrative of the day quickly became: just how many could Tom Lynch get?

RICHMOND 6.2 9.3 18.5 20.8 (128)
HAWTHORN 1.1 4.5 5.10 9.13 (67)

Richmond: Lynch 8, Cumberland 2, Prestia 2, Rioli 2, Edwards 2, Cotchin, Castagna, Bolton, Miller.
Hawthorn: Breust 2, Gunston 2, Koschitzke, Sicily, McEvoy, Serong, Shiels.
Richmond: Lynch, Prestia, Rioli, Short.
Hawthorn: McEvoy, Sicily, Newcombe, Mitchell.
Richmond: Graham (Ankle).
CROWD 59,338 at the MCG.


T. Lynch (Richmond) 9
J. Sicily (Hawthorn) 8
D. Prestia (Richmond) 8
T. Cotchin (Richmond) 7
J. Newcombe (Richmond) 7

Keep up to date with the best AFL coverage in the country. Sign up for the Real Footy newsletter.