CARLTON: 3.3, 4.6, 9.12, 14.17 (101)
RICHMOND: 2.9, 9.14, 14.18, 14.22 (106)
GOALS: Carlton: Garlett 2, Betts 2, Judd 2, Gibbs 2, Murphy 2, Kreuzer 2, Hampson, Yarran,
Richmond: Vickery 3, Deledio 3, McGuane 2, King 2, Houli, Conca, Martin, Jackson
BEST: Carlton: Kreuzer, Gibbs, Jamison, Murphy, Judd
Richmond: Cotchin, Vickery, Deledio, Tuck, Grigg, Jackson
INJURIES: Carlton: Robinson (concussion)
REPORTS: Chris Yarran (Carlton) reported for striking Richmond's Bachar Houli
SUBS: Carlton: Aaron Joseph replaced Mitch Robinson (2nd Qtr)
Richmond: Robin Nahas replaced Brandon Ellis (4th Qtr)
CROWD: 80,971 at the MCG
UMPIRES: Rosebury, Meredith, Mollison
The Chief's best on ground: 3 - Cotchin, 2 - Gibbs, 1 - Deledio.
Richmond have begun their season in fine style and ended their nine-game losing streak against Carlton with a five-point win at the MCG on Thursday night.
In front of a packed house, the Tigers kicked eight consecutive goals from midway through the first term to late in the second quarter to open up a 42-point lead before holding off a spirited final-term comeback to hold on for a 14.22 (106) to 14.17 (101) victory.
The win will only increase the hype down at Tigerland with their long-suffering fans already no doubt dreaming of a first finals appearance since 2001 and only third since 1982.
It was a disappointing first game in charge for Mick Malthouse with his Blues made to look second rate for the first three quarters as the Tigers dominated the contested ball (125-106) and had 14 more inside 50 entries (51-37).
That was until the final term when the match was turned on its head as Carlton levelled both of those statistics and almost pinched a memorable victory with five goals to none.
New Richmond skipper Trent Cotchin started slowly but still found plenty of the ball to finish with 33 touches, while Brett Deledio wasn't as prolific but crucially kicked three goals.
Tyrone Vickery was the dominant big man on the ground with nine marks and three goals, while reigning Coleman Medalist Jack Riewoldt was held goalless by a combined effort from Michael Jamison and Lachie Henderson.
Matthew Kreuzer was one of the Blues' best players with a great performance in the ruck, while usual suspects Bryce Gibbs (34), Chris Judd (27) and Andrew Walker (26) were the leading ball winners.
Carlton's cause wasn't helped by the concussion injury to Mitch Robinson in the second term with the hard nut the first player to test out the new sub rule, although after 20 minutes off he failed to improve and his game was officially over at half-time.
The Blues kicked the first three goals of the contest, but as the quarter wore on, Richmond settled and enjoyed plenty more of the ball, although struggled to hit the target with five straight behinds before Deledio connected sweetly on a long bomb from outside 50.
The Tigers added another through Vickery, but were left to rue three posters, while another goal went begging when Riewoldt's flying snap was just beaten by the siren.
The quarter-time break did little to halt the momentum as Vickery immediately put Richmond in front before Bachar Houli kicked truly following a 50m penalty against Shaun Hampson.
With the game beginning to slip away, the Blues pressed but could only kick behinds as the Tigers seized control of the match with the next four goals to make it eight in a row and extend the margin to 36 points.
The Blues stopped the run with a fine goal on the run from Chris Yarran, although there were some nervous moments as there was a delayed review after it appeared the ball had struck the post.
Dustin Martin ensured the Tigers headed into the long break with a healthy 38-point lead with a sublime snap from the boundary line.
Carlton lifted after half-time, but every time they scored a goal Richmond had the answer with Deledio's two goals - the second a magnificent effort on the run from outside 50 - putting the Tigers up by a game-high 42 points.
The Blues weren't buried yet though and after Kreuzer nailed a tough set shot, dual Brownlow Medalist Judd stepped up with two quickfire goals to bring the margin back to 21 points.
But just as the crowd began to sense a comeback, the Tigers steadied with goals to Luke McGuane and Jake King - both of which came from 50m penalties.
It looked like the last quarter would have been a mere formality, but Carlton came from nowhere to almost pull off a stunning win.
After kicking three quick goals there was renewed optimism among the players and fans and when Jeff Garlett kicked the next two the margin was just seven points and Richmond had stopped running.
Kreuzer missed a gettable shot from close range before Yarran had the chance to be the hero but was off target with two late shots as the Tigers held on for a victory that should have been a lot more comfortable than just five points.
Blow By Blow Report From Our AFL Live Feed
Q4 30:30 An unbelievable contest as football returns to the MCG in all its glory! The Tigers break their nine-game losing streak against the Blues in an absolute stunning game! YELLOW AND BLACK!
Q4 30:20 BEHIND BLUES - Bootsma gathers in defence, tries to take on McGaune but is caught holding the ball! McGaune, from 35, has missed but the siren sounds and the Tigers have won by five points!
Q4 29:00 BEHIND BLUES - Yarran receives the handball, has time to run in, lets it rip from 40 out on the angle and MISSES! One minute to go! Tigers by 4.
Q4 27:10 BEHIND BLUES - Yarran roves the ball beautifully, hits it hight under pressure but is off target. Under one goal now!
Q4 25:40 BEHIND BLUES - Maric has punched the ball back over the boundary line from the throw-in and the umpire pays deliberate! Garlett floats it across the face and Kreuzer marks! He misses. Tigers by 6.
Q4 23:55 GOAL BLUES - McLean marks, turns and guides the pass inside 50 to find Garlett on the chest in the right pocket 35m out on a 35 degree angle. Straight through the middle! Blues trail by 7! WOW!
Q4 22:35 BEHIND TIGERS - Five minutes to go in this fascinating final quarter and the Tigers lead by 13 as Riewoldt soccers through a behind.
Q4 19:50 GOAL BLUES - Garlett roves the ball off hands out of the ruck contest from the boundary throw-in and slams ball on boot for an incredible goal from the stoppage! Game well and truly alive!
Q4 18:40 BEHIND BLUES - Yarran wins possession in a one-on-one contest inside attacking 50 and chooses to dribble the shot at goal but hits the base of the post. Tigers by 3 goals.
Q4 16:25 Almost 81,000 fans have packed the MCG tonight to witness a great contest between these two rivals: the 4th largest crowd between these great clubs.
Q4 13:50 BEHIND BLUES - Gibbs has time to stop and prop, steady for goal from the boundary but he hits it across the face. Tigers by 19.
Q4 12:10 Ample time remaining for the Blues to steal this game but they will need to be very good. 12 minutes of game time to go.
Q4 10:30 BEHIND TIGERS - Edwards with a long shot which is off line to the left as Nahas comes on as the sub and Ellis comes off.
Q4 09:45 GOAL BLUES - After plenty of fumbles by the Blues in attack, Jamison finally gets clean possession and drills the pass to Kreuzer. Directly in front and he slams it home! The Blues are back in town!
Q4 06:25 GOAL BLUES - Judd takes advantage of the Tigers' turnover and spears the pass to Hampson who marls 40 out. He can't make the distance but Maric drops the mark and Murhpy soccers home the goal!
Q4 03:25 GOAL BLUES - Garlett slips the kick out wide with great vision to Gibbs who marks 30m out on a slight angle. He goes back and makes no mistake. That's the start they need. Tigers by 31.
Q4 02:10 BEHIND TIGERS - A rushed behind to the Tigers who now lead by 37 points.
Q4 01:15 Chaplin cops an accidental shoulder to the head, is helped off the ground and will be assessed for concussion.
Q4 00:01 Full house at the 'G and the Yellow and Black Army will be feeling pretty good at the moment as their team holds a six-goal lead. Are the Blues done and dusted? Let us find out now.
Q3 32:15 BEHIND TIGERS - Another two behinds to the Tigers before the siren sounds for 3QT and we have a small melee erupt after the bell. The Blues are still alive, but only just. They trail by 36.
Q3 28:40 BEHIND TIGERS - Tuck unwinds from the paint and misses to the right rather than lowering his eyes and maybe shorting the pass in-board.
Q3 27:55 Yarran has been reported for throwing a light jab to the chest of Houli. He might get a week but there was not much in it. Tempos are certainly rising as is the intensity.
Q3 26:15 GOAL TIGERS - King gets himself in the front position and wins the free for high contact and then another 50m penalty makes this another certainty and the Tigers are quickly out to a 33-point lead.
Q3 24:10 GOAL TIGERS - Cotchin with a neat kick after a great side-step finds McGaune and then Duigan runs in to the protected zone and gives away a 50. McGaune nails a much-needed goal for the Tigers.
Q3 22:40 GOAL BLUES - Joseph, who has been activated for the injured Robinson, chips the pass over the top to Judd, 40m out in the left-hand pocket. He strikes it well and the Navy Blues are up and about now!
Q3 21:40 BEHIND BLUES - Judd looking dangerous as he gathers and almost bends home another one but can't bring it back enough.
Q3 20:45 GOAL BLUES - Good hands up to Judd and the former-captain, from 30 out, bends home a team-lifting goal to bring the Blues back within 28 points. Game on again.
Q3 19:55 BEHIND TIGERS - Touched on the last line of defence by Jamison and the Tigers' lead stands at 34 points.
Q3 17:15 BEHIND BLUES - Carrazzo snaps the shot to the left side of the goal post for a minor score.
Q3 16:00 GOAL BLUES - Murphy with his head over the ball and he wins the free for high contact and then drills the pass to Kreuzer who clunks a strong overhead mark. From 35 on a tight angle, he nails it.
Q3 14:40 BEHIND BLUES - Gibbs from the boundary line 45 metres out and he is off line to the left.
Q3 13:30 BEHIND BLUES - Hampson leads hard to pluck the grab well out in front. From just beyond 50, he pulls the kick to the left side.
Q3 12:00 GOAL TIGERS - Deledio wins the free dead in front of goal and 20 out as he is shoved out of the marking contest and he nails his third goal. That's the first time he has bagged 3 against Carlton.
Q3 10:35 Deledio marks strongly and then handpasses inside to Grigg who stabs the pass to a leading King inside attacking 50. King shanks the shot out on the full.
Q3 07:30 BEHIND BLUES - Gibbs spears the pass to a leading Hampson who takes the mark out in front about 40m out from the sticks. He misses to the left.
Q3 06:35 GOAL TIGERS - A goal feast to start this third term as Deledio has a paddock of space in front of him to run in to and from 55 out, he unwinds with a monster goal! Tigers answer again!
Q3 05:30 BEHIND BLUES - Kreuzer unloads with a long shot at goal from 55 out but is off line to the right.
Q3 04:25 GOAL BLUES - The ball comes off hands to a dangerous Eddie Betts who gathers and snaps home another quick goal for the Blues. Three goals in three minutes and it's back to 32 points.
Q3 03:20 GOAL TIGERS - Jackson is able to slip away from the attempted tackle by Murphy and run in to an open goal to answer the Blues' challenge very promptly.
Q3 02:10 GOAL BLUES - Good run through the middle by the Blues as Judd shorts the pass inside 50 to Hampson who cheekily chips over to Gibbs and he plays on and gives the Blues the perfect start.
Q3 00:01 Third quarter underway and the Blues have a lot of work to do if they are to fight their way back in to the game.
Q2 32:15 A sensational quarter from the Tigers as they boot seven goals to the Blues' one and take a massive 38-point lead at the main change!
Q2 31:40 GOAL TIGERS - With under a minute to go, Martin swings a shot around his body from close to the boundary line in the right pocket and it bends back beautifully! Magic! The Yellow and Black are roaring
Q2 30:40 BEHIND TIGERS - Another behind to the Tigers, this one comes off hands.
Q2 30:00 BEHIND TIGERS - Martin bends through the one behind to extends the Tigers' lead out to 31 points.
Q2 28:40 GOAL BLUES - Yarran gathers on the wing and glides away from Ellis, he takes a bounce and slides home a great goal that just sneaks inside the post. Hold on... a review. The ump's call stands.
Q2 24:50 GOAL TIGERS - Riewoldt bounces the kick end over end towards goal and King with pace gathers the footy and pops home another one! Eight in a row for the Tigers and they lead by 36! Amazing.
Q2 23:20 GOAL TIGERS - King under enormous pressure gets a brilliant kick away to McGaune at the top of the square. He can't miss from there and the Tigers are out to a lead of 30 points!
Q2 21:50 BEHIND TIGERS - A minor score to Richmond and they lead by an even four goals. Gibbs is back on the ground and looks to be running well.
Q2 20:30 It's been about 30 minutes since the Blues' last goal and the Tigers have booted all four goals of this quarter
Q2 18:55 GOAL TIGERS - Carrazzo is run down by Cotchin who wins the free and chips it short to Vickery who will slam home his third goal from point-blank-range! The Tigers lead by 23!
Q2 17:05 Joseph is now on and the Blues have 20 minutes to make a decision as to whether Robinson will come back on tonight.
Q2 16:30 Robinson is up now but looking a bit worse for wear and will be helped off the ground before starting to jog by himself.
Q2 15:20 GOAL TIGERS - The Tigers are running all over the Blues at the moment as Robinson lies unconscious on the turf before Conca swings through a great goal from 35! Tigers by 17.
Q2 12:45 BEHIND TIGERS - Riewoldt wins the race and soccers the ball off the deck but through for a minor score.
Q2 12:05 BEHIND BLUES - Gibbs has hobbled off the ground but is walking OK. Will keep you updated. Robinson is taken high by Rance inside forward 50 and from 45, he pulls it right.
Q2 09:35 BEHIND BLUES - Simpson steadies and from 45 out deep in the pocket, he misses to the near side.
Q2 07:05 BEHIND BLUES - Murphy, calm and composed, shorts the pass to Simpson in the pocket who centres the pass back to Armfield 40 out and directly in front. Another poster!
Q2 04:05 GOAL TIGERS - Houli takes the grab at half back and Hampson comes in late and strikes Houli over the head - 50m penalty. Houli, from the paint, delivers the goods with a sublime shot! Tigers by 13.
Q2 02:20 BEHIND TIGERS - Deledio bursts through the middle and pumps the kick long to the hot spot and Vickery has got away from his man and takes the uncontested grab. Directly in front and he sprays it.
Q2 00:55 GOAL TIGERS - McGaune hands to King who has the smarts to chip the kick to Vickery who is in a better position to take the set shot. From 30, he drills the major and the Tigers have the lead!
Q2 00:01 On second viewing of the shot from Riewoldt as the siren went, it was a great call by the umpire as the bell did ring just before he had the shot. Second term underway.
Q1 29:30 Siren sounds and Riewoldt has picked up the ball and bent home a goal but the umpire has deemed the bell sounded before the kick.Very tight call. Scores level at the break. Great game.
Q1 29:05 BEHIND TIGERS - Edwards swings the shot around his body and in to the post for the Tigers' third poster of the quarter.
Q1 28:30 BEHIND BLUES - Morris gets back to rush the ball over the line for a minor score to the Blues.
Q1 27:20 Bootsma has started well in defence bar one poor handball. He has bulked up over the summer and looks composed down back. Good signs for the youngster.
Q1 24:45 BEHIND TIGERS - Tuck lines up for goal from 40 out hard up against the boundary line and it looks great but hits the woodwork.
Q1 23:45 BEHIND BLUES - Betts attempts the soccer of the ground but misses the footy entirely and the ball is rushed over for a behind.
Q1 22:35 GOAL TIGERS - Martin receives the handball and then hits Vickery with a lace-out pass about 40 out from goal for their first mark inside 50 of the night. He slots it and the Tigers are level!
Q1 21:40 BEHIND TIGERS - Another minor score to the Tigers who are now 1.7 for the term.
Q1 20:30 GOAL TIGERS - Deledio unloads from outside 50, he strikes it well but Jamison looks set to get back in time to touch it but completely misjudges the flight of the ball and the ball falls through! GOAL
Q1 19:25 BEHIND TIGERS - Touched off the boot from the hack by Riewoldt and it sails through the big sticks but is only a behind. Q1 17:15 Robinson goes wide to Judd who plays on in the middle, sells the dummy to Bachelor and steers the pass to Casboult in the left pocket. Casboult makes a mess of a great build-up. On the full.
Q1 13:35 GOAL BLUES - Judd gathers the ball running inside 50 and then swings the kick around his body and finds his new captain on the chest in the square. Murphy bags his first goal as skipper. Blues by 15.
Q1 11:20 BEHIND TIGERS - A powerful shot off one step from Martin but it fades late to the right for yet another behind to the Tigers.
Q1 10:30 BEHIND TIGERS - Tuck bends through the one behind from 45 out under pressure.
Q1 09:35 GOAL BLUES - Ellis in defence doesn't see Betts running in and is caught blind-sided: holding the ball. Betts nails the goal from 35 and the Blues have the opening two goals. Carlton by 11.
Q1 07:05 BEHIND BLUES - Ellis runs over the mark as Simpson is about to kick and the umpire awards a 50m penalty. From 25 on a 35 degree angle, he tugs it left.
Q1 06:00 BEHIND TIGERS - Vickery is forced to play on and shoots at goal but Walker is there to touch it across the line.
Q1 05:00 BEHIND TIGERS - Riewoldt being held by Jamison and the umpire is in the perfect place to award the free. From tight in the right pocket, he fires at goal from 25 and smacks the post.
Q1 02:20 GOAL BLUES - The bearded Simpson drives the pass inside attacking 50 to a leading Hampson who takes the overhead grab. From 50, the shot is on target and he sneaks it in for Carlton's opening goal!
Q1 00:01 This opening round blockbuster shapes as a beauty. Joseph and Nahas start as the subs. Carlton has won the past 9 against Richmond but will that determine the result? Let's find out! Underway!
Q1 00:00 Welcome to the traditional opening round match between arch-rivals Carlton and Richmond. Football is back in Melbourne and it may be cold and windy at the MCG, but it sure is a beautiful sight!
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