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AFL 2023 season opener: Richmond v Carlton – live

Q4: 1 mins remaining: Richmond 7.10 (52) v 8.10 (58) Carlton: The Tigers push but McGovern is first to the ball. Then Nankervis hacks into the sky, a Blue guernsey marks it, and the rebound is rapid down the left. Can Carlton seal it? No! McKay slips before marking…

Q4: 2 mins remaining: Richmond 7.10 (52) v 8.10 (58) Carlton: Richmond force repeat stoppages deep in Carlton territory. The intensity is excruciating. A whistle blows – free to the Blues! The long kick down the line is punched out of bounds. Just two minutes remaining.

Q4: 3 mins remaining: Richmond 7.10 (52) v 8.10 (58) Carlton: Baker picks off the long ball down the line and Richmond mount another sortie but De Koning floats back and snuffs out the danger. But again the Blues cough up possession cheaply and invite Richmond back onto them.

Q4: 4 mins remaining: Richmond 7.10 (52) v 8.10 (58) Carlton: Saad mops up, finds Cripps by hand, and Carlton find space to slow the tempo down and settle nerves across their back line.

Q4: 5 mins remaining: Richmond 7.10 (52) v 8.10 (58) Carlton: Riewoldt earns a free-kick for a shove in the back on the lead. He feeds the sub Ross in the right forward pocket. And his kick for goal is abysmal. It almost came off his hoof at a right-angle.

Q4: 6 mins remaining: Richmond 7.10 (52) v 8.10 (58) Carlton: Fatigue aplenty. Errors everywhere. This is desperate stuff at the G.

Q4: 7 mins remaining: Richmond 7.10 (52) v 8.10 (58) Carlton: McGovern marks calmly after Richmond win the clearance, but then madness takes over and the ball is soon out on the full 40m from Carlton’s posts. Richmond pour forward like an angry cloud of killer bees, Bolton marks and has a set shot from 35m dead in front. To the disbelief of the good ol boys of footy, the Tiger snaps instead of kicking a drop punt and misses!

Q4: 9 mins remaining: Richmond 7.9 (51) v 8.10 (58) Carlton: This has been a game of almosts, and there’s another with Bolton just failing to hold onto a spectacular mark. Instead Jack Martin puts his head over the footy, earns the free kick, sends the Blues downfield, and after the long ball to the top of the square comes off hands Charlie Curnow stabs the ball home with the outside of his boot like a striker in football sliding in at the far post. Incredible scenes! Can Carlton hold on?

Q4: 10 mins remaining: Richmond 7.9 (51) v 7.10 (52) Carlton: Richmond try to exit down the line, then search for that high-risk ball inboard, and Carlton chop it off! Can they capitalise? No! Holding-the-ball! The Tigers are back on the front foot and pump the ball into the right forward pocket. This is becoming a game of territory as much as possession.

Q4: 11 mins remaining: Richmond 7.9 (51) v 7.10 (52) Carlton: Good pressure from the Blues, locking the ball in deep in Richmond territory and forcing repeat stoppages.

Q4: 13 mins remaining: Richmond 7.9 (51) v 7.10 (52) Carlton: In response the Tigers turn up the heat, hunting in a pack to force a holding free then slipping quick handballs to wriggle out of pressure. The intensity has ramped up suddenly and the roof threatens to come off when Vlasutin’s long ranger almost drifts through, but a point is all that comes of it.

Q4: 13 mins remaining: Richmond 7.8 (50) v 7.10 (52) Carlton: The crowd are well into this now. Blues fans are beginning to believe. They have to stifle their cheers for now though as Cripps snaps wide on the run.

Q4: 14 mins remaining: Richmond 7.8 (50) v 7.9 (51) Carlton: Another entry for the Blues, this one just evading Silvagni, but Carlton lock the ball in and Richmond can clear only as far as Docherty… who runs in from the centre square, and hoists a mahoooooooosive bomb from 60m to kick his side back in front! That was an enormous moment.

Q4: 15 mins remaining: Richmond 7.8 (50) v 6.9 (45) Carlton: Both sides are willing in close but neither have managed to link any strings of possession on the outside. A strong McKay mark sets up good territory for the Blues but nothing comes of it.

Q4: 17 mins remaining: Richmond 7.8 (50) v 6.9 (45) Carlton: Superb one-on-one win by Vlastuin against Charlie Curnow on the deck turns defence into attack for the Tigers. Martin marks and plays on but there’s no space to exploit and the Blues survive.

Q4: 19 mins remaining: Richmond 7.8 (50) v 6.9 (45) Carlton: The Blues win the centre clearance but Grimes plucks the inside-50 out of the sky. Richmond make a mess of the exit and the pressure is back on. The two Riolis combine well down the right to break the shackles and they work with Broad to advance into Carlton’s half.

Lochie O’Brien has been subbed into the game for Lachie Cowan.

Jack Ross has been subbed on for Marlion Pickett.

A five goal to two quarter in Richmond’s favour has the Tigers ahead at a break for the first time. They’re worth their lead and it will take something special from Carlton to change the momentum.

Q3: 2 mins remaining: Richmond 7.8 (50) v 6.9 (45) Carlton: “No Richmond ruck” was the call from the umpire but De Koning still managed to miss the mark and cough up possession. It might even have been a falcon… The Tigers fail to take full opportunity when Bolton slices a free-kick wide, but the pressure from the Tigers is fierce. By Tigers, I mean Tom Lynch, who tries to take on four opponents in a jumper-scragging, teeth-baring, “I’ll see you in the car park afterwards” kind of way. Amongst the melee there’s a free-kick and Carlton can clear, but they don’t get far before Rioli leads the rebound. That man Lynch is of course on the spot to kick a breakaway goal – but Young is desperate and effective on the line.

Q3: 4 mins remaining: Richmond 7.6 (48) v 6.9 (45) Carlton: Lynch has three, Richmond have three in a row, and six for the quarter! From a ball-in deep in the left forward pocket, Lynch shoves his direct opponent out the way and snaps truly… or not… there’s a score review, a bent finger at the point of smother, and the goal is downgraded.

Q3: 6 mins remaining: Richmond 7.5 (47) v 6.9 (45) Carlton: Superb contested grab from Tom Lynch, beating two Blues to a massive aimless roost out of defence. He makes no mistake with the set shot from 40m and Richmond are back in front.

Q3: 8 mins remaining: Richmond 6.4 (40) v 6.9 (45) Carlton: More quick ball movement from the Blues in midfield and again McKay has space to run and mark – and again he fails to split the big sticks. Costly misses for Carlton who have the run at the moment.

Q3: 9 mins remaining: Richmond 6.4 (40) v 6.8 (44) Carlton: The Blues exert some forward pressure and do well to keep the ball alive from a stoppage. Docherty is charged with the hurried entry and McKay turns it into a beautiful assist (editor’s note: it was a mongrel punt) but fails to nail the gettable set shot.

Q3: 10 mins remaining: Richmond 6.4 (40) v 6.7 (43) Carlton: Almost another, to Hollands, but his left-footed snap on the run just floats wide. Carlton have found their ball movement all of a sudden.

Q3: 11 mins remaining: Richmond 6.4 (40) v 6.6 (42) Carlton: The goals are raining down on the MCG! Maurice Rioli snaps his second after Saad fails to deal with a bouncing ball at the top of the square.

Q3: 12 mins remaining: Richmond 5.4 (34) v 6.6 (42) Carlton: Shai Bolton has been so influential tonight and he wins a centre clearance here that sets the Tigers on the front foot. Weitering repels the entry – and then benefits from a 50m free when Richmond dally returning the footy. A couple of chipped kicks later and the ball is again delivered to the hot spot, and again the pack favours Curnow – this time at ground level – the big forward crumbing and snapping in an instant to kick his second in quick succession.

Q3: 14 mins remaining: Richmond 5.4 (34) v 5.6 (36) Carlton: Another deep entry from McIntosh but Newman intercepts and the Blues can slow the game down and caress the ball forward, eventually into the mitts of the leading McKay… but he’s slow to play on and gets run down from behind! Carlton are lucky to regain possession quickly and they resume their smart ploy of chipping the ball around. Eventually they’re forced to go long and as the pack crests it’s Charlie Curnow who comes down with the fruit. And he kicks a steadying goal! Excellent response under pressure from the Blues.

Q3: 15 mins remaining: Richmond 5.4 (34) v 4.6 (30) Carlton: Three in a row in the blink of an eye and the Tigers lead! Lynch gets in on the act with a superb set shot from the right forward pocket after excellent work from Martin in the build-up. Carlton have to dig in now to remain in touch.

Q3: 16 mins remaining: Richmond 4.4 (28) v 4.6 (30) Carlton: Just like the first quarter the ball is locked in Carlton’s defensive 50. Acres is culpable for coughing up a turnover in midfield, but the Blues defence holds firm. Motlop then does well on the right coming out of defence but Carlton can’t prosper down the flank. Nankervis then busts the game open with a wild kick across his defensive line that could be intercepted twice in the air, and then on the ground! Somehow the bounce of the ball breaks the way of the Tigers and the rebound is rapid through Rioli. The ball ends in Bolton’s hands in acres of space and he walks home a second in quick succession!

Q3: 17 mins remaining: Richmond 3.4 (22) v 4.6 (30) Carlton: From a stoppage on the left wing McIntosh dumps the ball inside 50 where Riewoldt is too strong one-on-one. He steps off his mark and snaps Richmond’s third goal! Nothing fancy about that but Young was caught under the ball and the veteran took advantage.

Q3: 19 mins remaining: Richmond 2.4 (16) v 4.6 (30) Carlton: Both teams have a sniff at the start of the third quarter. Carlton can’t hit a target, then Martin is pinged for Richmond for failing to execute a hand-off before he’s tackled.

There’s a cigarette paper between the two sides on the stats sheet at the main break. The only difference has been Carlton’s finishing. George Hewett (21) and Tim Taranto (19) are the leading ball-winners.

This was good.

Richmond’s ball movement has become antediluvian, just hacking it forward with biblical force to nobody in particular. Cowan is the latest to intercept, and the half-time siren follows soon after.

Q2: 2 mins remaining: Richmond 2.4 (16) v 4.5 (29) Carlton: Richmond play Russian roulette across their back line and Balta ends up in a world of pain. The Blues slow the game down again work the ball around the arc and find the industrious Kennedy in space in the right forward pocket. From the fence, he kicks a point.

Q2: 4 mins remaining: Richmond 2.4 (16) v 4.4 (28) Carlton: Jack Martin slows the game down to kick for goal from 60m. A pack brings the ball to ground just outside the square, and Owies pounces! A scruffy dribbler is all it took, but it extends Carlton’s lead with half-time nearing.

Q2: 5 mins remaining: Richmond 2.4 (16) v 3.4 (22) Carlton: It’s all getting very ragged now with both teams gassed. Neither side are able to string any passes together. McKay takes a strong leading mark but nothing comes of it. And another, but Curnow has been well handled by Richmond’s back line.

Q2: 7 mins remaining: Richmond 2.4 (16) v 3.4 (22) Carlton: The Blues have been committed in defence. They have honoured their coach’s prematch words. Half-chances have been extinguished repeatedly, and bodies have been put on the line when it’s mattered.

Q2: 9 mins remaining: Richmond 2.4 (16) v 3.4 (22) Carlton: It’s been non-stop since the opening bounce and fatigue is starting to show. It favours the Blues who benefit from a couple of one-on-one wins and are awarded a free inside 50 but Cripps plays on and Owies can only kick a point. Cripps has another opportunity on the burst, shapes to kick, but he’s scragged and Richmond go coast to coast in a flash! Ben Miller is the unlikely recipient of the leading mark in the right forward pocket. He doesn’t look confident with the set shot, and he shows why, with a mongrel squirter that does well to be considered a disposal.

Q2: 12 mins remaining: Richmond 2.4 (16) v 3.2 (20) Carlton: Great work on centre wing by Pickett, Bolton, and Rioli. The latter looks certain to kick a goal but there’s a desperate late tackle from Saad to snuff out the danger. Excellent footy.

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