Tigers, Dockers play out bizarre AFL draw

·3-min read

Richmond and Fremantle have played out the first AFL draw of the season, making it three-straight nailbiting contests for the Tigers.

After losing to Gold Coast and lowly North Melbourne in devastating circumstances during the past two weeks, Richmond again tested the hearts of their supporters at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.

Young Tigers forward Noah Cumberland marked just outside 50m, but played on just as the siren sounded as the umpired signalled the end of the game.

Richmond had many chances to win the game but Cumberland only needed to bomb the ball through for a point to secure a memorable win after Marlion Pickett hit him on the chest.

The Tigers led at every break, including by eight points at three-quarter-time, but the scores ended tied at 7.10 (52) apiece.

It was just the second draw in Fremantle's 27-year history, adding to the one against the Sydney Swans in 2013.

Tigers swingman Noah Balta also had a set-shot in the dying stages but took too long and was called to play-on by the umpire and had his kick smothered.

It is another blow to the Tigers' top-eight hopes, and they could drop to as low as 10th by the end of the round.

"It was slow and boring at various stages, it was a challenge, so we'll digest it and have a look at what it shows," Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said.

"What people don't realise is the game is incredibly hard...they're going to make mistakes and games like that - high pressure, high stakes - are really challenging."

In a dirty night for the Dockers, superstar captain Nat Fyfe was subbed off early in the third quarter with a suspected hamstring injury.

Fyfe kicked an important goal during the second quarter and looked set to stamp his mark on the match before suffering the injury setback.

The dual Brownlow medallist missed the first 12 games of the season following numerous issues with his body since July last year.

"(Fyfe's) a pro, he had a smile on his face and got around his teammates so we'll get it scanned," Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir said.

"This is a road-bump, the way I see this, because he's got over his big injuries and sometimes when you're trying to come back and trying to be committed, you can have little setbacks."

A defensively-minded Richmond looked to have found a way to win in a low-scoring scrap, but the Dockers booted two goals to one in the final quarter.

Maurice Rioli Jnr came into the game midway through the final term after Ben Miller was subbed out with a full-body cramp, laying a big tackle to have an impact.

Fremantle's top-four aspirations took a hit and Collingwood will push the Dockers down to fifth if they defeat Essendon on Sunday.

The Tigers will face the Brisbane Lions at the MCG next Sunday, while Fremantle are back on the Friday night stage when they host reigning premiers Melbourne at Optus Stadium.

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