Lynch goal seals draw in Tigers-Blues AFL season opener

Tom Lynch's last-gasp heroics have snatched a thrilling draw for Richmond in the AFL season opener against traditional rivals Carlton.

Spearhead Lynch stood tallest at the crucial moment to take a towering mark and slot his third goal for the Tigers, tying the scores at 8.10 (58) apiece with less than 30 seconds left on the clock at the MCG on Thursday night.

The Blues managed one more thrust from the final centre bounce but off-season recruit Blake Acres dropped a mark just outside 50m that would have given him a shot after the siren to win the match.

Carlton forward Charlie Curnow looked to have defied Richmond's territorial dominance with three second-half goals, giving the Blues the upper hand late in the match.

But Richmond, who enjoyed a 66-45 advantage in forward entries, would not lie down in front of a huge crowd of 88,084 fans.

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick saw it as a missed opportunity.

"It looked like a Richmond game," he said.

"We had them pinned in the front half for the vast majority but the reality is we just lacked polish.

"We had seven missed shots on goal, we kicked four out on the full, we had a couple of sodas from in front.

"I'll look at the game overall but the polish is one thing that we certainly need to improve."

Boom Richmond recruit Tim Taranto (32 disposals, five clearances) had more touches than any other player on the ground and Dion Prestia (23, five) was influential until Ed Curnow put the clamps on in the final term.

George Hewett (28 disposals, eight clearances) and captain Patrick Cripps (25, seven) did well for Carlton in the midfield and ruckman Tom De Koning had an enthralling battle with Toby Nankervis.

Maurice Rioli kicked two goals for Richmond and Daniel Rioli (27 disposals) scorched the MCG turf with his dash out of defence.

Tigers frequent flyer Shai Bolton and Carlton milestone man Jack Silvagni - playing his 100th game - provided huge marks for the highlights reel.

Neither side led by more than 14 points in the low-scoring arm wrestle.

Carlton coach Michael Voss took a similar view to Hardwick in saying his own side blew a golden chance at victory, but added there was a lot to like about the Blues' performance.

They were a whisker away from victory despite not enjoying their usual clearance dominance, with Voss lauding his players' mental strength and ability to hang tough in the face of a late Richmond barrage..

"I can't emphasise enough that if that game happens last year, we lose by six goals," Voss said.

"For that game to play out the way it did and (for us) to still be in front and be a chance to win, and still be disappointed that we didn't get the result, that shows real progress in our group."