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Tigers win season opener



Richmond has begun it's premiership defence with a 24 point win over Carlton at an empty MCG on Thursday night.


With a decision made only 24 hours before the bounce for the round to proceed due to risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tigers burst out of the blocks kicking seven goals to two in the opening term on their way to a comfortable 16.9 (105) to 12.9 (81) victory.


Jack Riewoldt starred with three first half goals, setting up two others in a fast start.


Richmond had the first five goals of the match before the Blues hit the scoreboard through David Cunningham.


Already missing first choice players Charlie Curnow, Harry McKay and Eddie Betts, Carlton lost ruckman Matthew Kruezer to a foot injury in the opening quarter, leaving them without a recognised ruckman for most of the match.


The margin was out to 46 points at the half, before new recruit Jack Martin kicked four third term goals to bring the Blues back in to the contest.


In an inspired period David Teague's men kicked six of seven goals either side of three quarter time, but the reigning premiers steadied late to win by four goals.


Small forwards Shai Bolton, Daniel Rioli and Jason Castagna all kicked three goals to complement the work of Riewoldt, Tom Lynch held goalless by Jacob Weitering.


Blues co-captain Patrick Cripps had 31 disposals, while fellow skipper Sam Docherty made a successful return from two ACL's in his first match since 2017 with 26 touches of his own.


Dion Prestia had 25 dispoals and kicked a goal for the winners, while reigning Norm Smith medallist Dustin Martin had 24 touches to go with a second term major.


Tigers defender Nick Vlaustin failed to play after half time because of a head knock in the only injury concern for Damien Hardwick's men.


Richmond is set to play Collingwood in round two, while Carlton will meet Western Bulldogs.


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