TRENT Cotchin was the star of the show as Richmond thrashed Collingwood by 48 points in their NAB Challenge clash at Wangaratta on Saturday.
The Tigers’ captain took charge at Norm Minns Oval, gathering 34 touches and kicking four goals in the surprise blowout victory.
The gun midfielder, not known for his goalkicking exploits, said he was keen to hit the scoreboard more often this year after his disappointing season last year.
“I think I kicked as many today as I did in the whole season proper last year,” Cotchin said. “I was disappointed with my year last year.
“The year before I kicked a few and I’d love to get back to that.
“Resting forward is always helpful — you get an opportunity here and there. If I can do that during the season at some stage I’ll be pretty happy.”
Fellow Tiger stars Dustin Martin and Brett Deledio (both 32 touches) were also impressive.
Richmond kicked nine of the game’s final 10 goals to romp to victory after Collingwood drew to within five points, 12 minutes into the third quarter.
While it was the Tigers’ big names who led the way, coach Damien Hardwick said he was impressed by the emergence of some of the club’s younger brigade.
“I thought Dave Astbury was terrific,” Hardwick said when asked what he took out of the game.
“He had a great contest with Cloke and Reid, some real quality players.
“I thought Ben Griffiths took another step forward.”
“Matthew McDonough was very good across half-back, as was Vlastuin.
“You’re always going to get the quality out of Deledio, Martin, Cotchin but it’s great for our footy club to see the guys we’ve put a lot of time and effort into finally come to the fore.”
Bright’s Ben Reid proved a shining light for Collingwood, kicking five goals playing as a key forward.
Travis Cloke kicked three goals, while new skipper Scott Pendlebury (29 touches) won plenty of the ball for the Pies.
The Tigers were in control virtually the entire game and Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley wasn’t in the mood for excuses after the defeat.
“There were four posts down either end. It was about the size of Etihad and there were lines on it,” Buckley said post-match.
“It’s all the same.
“When you’re a little bit off, in this game, you don’t need to guess what the result is going to be.
“Contested ball numbers were really poor for us.
“We’ve got some quality in the middle but we were outshone in that regard.
“Our young defence weren’t able to cope with it, for the most part.
“That’s probably it, in a nutshell.”