Wayward Demons overcome Richmond in AFL

·2-min read

An inaccurate Melbourne have extended their AFL winning streak to 13, with a third-quarter blast enough to down Richmond by 22 points in their Anzac Day Eve clash at the MCG.

A week after slamming through 10 third-term goals to blow away GWS, the Demons again found top-gear after halftime on Sunday to overturn a nine-point deficit and take a 21-point lead into the final change.

The 9.22 (76) to 8.6 (54) result ensured the reigning premiers skipped to 6-0 this season and haven't lost since round-19 against the Western Bulldogs last year.

Even missing premiership stars Jake Lever and Jack Viney, the Demons proved far too strong for Richmond, who slump to 2-4.

The Tigers, who were coming off a shock loss to Adelaide, came out firing with fierce pressure around the ball as Liam Baker's goal late in the second quarter gave them a surprise halftime lead.

But the weight of numbers, 64 inside-50s to 42, eventually overwhelmed the Tigers as Demons forwards Sam Weideman (three goals) and Bayley Fritsch (two) combined nicely.

Richmond converting their early chances kept them in the match as Melbourne's score was 3.13 before finding their groove with five third-quarter goals.

Christian Petracca had a quieter game, but fellow Demons superstar Clayton Oliver stepped up to earn best-on-ground honours with 41 possessions, 22 of them contested.

Even without All-Australian Lever, the Demons' stingy back-six, led by Steven May, made Richmond work for every point to continue their run as the AFL's best defensive team.

"Our guys' ability to stay in the moment, keep playing our way, we know we're going to wear teams down if we keep doing the right things," Demons coach Simon Goodwin said.

"There were some goals we left out there so we'll go back and have a look at that and get better."

Richmond's top performers were defenders Nick Vlastuin and Jayden Short and midfielder Jack Graham

The Tigers lost Thomson Dow (thigh) in the third quarter and the young midfielder was subbed out for Matt Parker.

Richmond have just five days to regroup before playing struggling West Coast at Optus Stadium on Friday night, while the Demons will return to the MCG next Saturday for a twilight clash with Hawthorn.

"Just the frustration was the way we lost contests, behind the ball and at the ball and it's probably been a common theme this year at various stages," Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said.

"Sometimes we've got an uncanny ability to lose a contest when we have superior numbers, which is a little bit disappointing from our point of view but probably a great trend (of Melbourne)."

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