Tigers pip brave Roos to stay top in AFL

Jason Phelan

North Melbourne were oh so brave but Richmond have extended their AFL winning streak to six games with a pulsating 10-point victory at Etihad Stadium

The Roos led by two points early in the last quarter, but Tigers skipper Trent Cotchin slotted a brilliant goal to help the reigning premiers to a thrilling 12.10 (82) to 11.6 (72) win on Mother's Day Sunday.

And they did it without a great deal of help from Dustin Martin.

The Brownlow Medal winner had master tagger Ben Jacobs for company for much of the contest and the Roos midfielder restricting Martin to 16 possessions.

But Martin still found a way to influence the game late.

He was redeployed up forward in the last quarter and had a hand in Cotchin's pivotal goal then found Dan Butler, who kicked the last goal of the contest in front of 29,153 fans.

Cotchin stood up for the Tigers with the match on the line. Pic: Getty

Cotchin was superb with 37 disposals and seven clearances, while Josh Caddy was the most dangerous forward on the ground with four goals.

Ben Cunnington played arguably the best game of his AFL career with a stunning 32 of his 38 possessions contested.

He also had 14 clearances and laid six tackles.

Caddy was on target early, kicking two goals to help his side to a 10-point lead at the end of an entertaining first quarter.

North's accuracy kept them in the contest, but back-to-back misses by skipper Jack Ziebell proved costly as the Tigers slammed through four unanswered goals to lead by 20 points at halftime.

But just when the Tigers appeared to have absorbed the Kangaroos' best shot, Brad Scott's men found another gear after the restart.

Cunnington continued to put together a game for the ages as North stormed back into contention with a four-goals-to-one third quarter.

Roos fans dared to dream when Shaun Higgins put his side in front with the first goal of a frantic final term.

Even when Cotchin and Butler gave Richmond a 12-point buffer with five minutes left on the clock, North kept coming.

But Coleman Medal leader Ben Brown, who booted two goals, missed two set shots as time ran out, ending his side's brave challenge.

The Tigers will look to keep their winning run going when they face West Coast at Optus Stadium in round nine, while the Roos host GWS in Hobart.