Former Richmond captain Trent Cotchin has turned back the clock in his 300th game to inspire the finals-hunting Tigers to a crucial 20-point win over St Kilda.

In the first half alone at the MCG, Cotchin had 19 disposals, eight contested possessions, three clearances, three inside 50s and booted two clutch goals that brought the house down and revived the Tigers after a slow start.

With former coach Damien Hardwick among those in the stands watching on, Cotchin finished with 29 disposals to help Richmond prevail 13.12 (90) to 11.4 (70) in teeming rain and leave them just two points outside the top eight.

Tim Taranto (38 disposals, 10 tackles, six clearances and a goal) and Dustin Martin (34 touches, seven clearances) starred in the midfield while Nick Vlastuin and Jayden Short were excellent.

St Kilda's Brad Crouch (33 touches) and Brad Hill (31) fought hard while former Tiger Dan Butler (three goals) provided a spark as the Saints spurned a chance to draw level with the top four on points.

SAINTS MATCH CENTRE: View all news, stats and videos from Round 14

Richmond's Noah Balta arguably won an entertaining duel with Max King.

Initially, the Saints appeared poised to spoil the party.

St Kilda booted the first four goals of the game before Shai Bolton stopped the rot and Short launched a long bomb to get Richmond back within reach.

Just before quarter-time, with Richmond trailing by 15, Cotchin marked just inside 50 and lined up for goal. The former captain used the maximum possible run-up, drove through the goal and sent the MCG into raptures.

Every Tiger on the field ran to Cotchin - and it started a run of four consecutive majors. Cotchin booted the first goal of the second term and the Tigers nudged out to an 18-point lead at half-time.

Young Richmond tall Samson Ryan was substituted out at half-time with an ankle concern.

In the third quarter, Vlastuin intercepted at will then snapped his first goal since 2020 to send the Tigers out to a game-high 25-point lead.

But Saints smalls Butler, Jack Higgins and Ryan Byrnes struck to cut the deficit to seven points at the final change.


The final quarter proved a genuine arm wrestle.

But with barely two minutes left, Taranto burst through a stoppage and booted a wonderful goal with the outside of his right boot, then Bolton added another to ice the game.

Sparks fly as a new rivalry catches fire

A great rivalry may have been born at the MCG on Saturday night when Max King and Noah Balta lined up on each other. There's no questioning the massive potential of the two young stars, but now there's a bit of spice that'll be sure to keep things interesting through the next decade or so. King had two goals on the board by quarter-time and let Balta know about both of them, however, the Tiger was also one of his side's best. When the rain came it didn't suit either, but they maintained their intensity at the ball, and each other, throughout.


It's an unusual headline and it's something St Kilda players and fans will want to see the back of as soon as possible - although not next week. The Saints haven't had consecutive wins - or losses - since their opening unbeaten run was broken in round five. However, they'll be hoping to maintain the sequence just a little bit longer with a win against Brisbane next week before, all red-white-and-black fingers crossed, breaking it in round 16 against West Coast at Optus Stadium.

RICHMOND  6.4  10.7  11.10  13.12 (90)
ST KILDA  5.0  7.8  11.3  11.4 (70)

Richmond: Bolton 3, Short 2, Miller 2, Cotchin 2, Vlastuin, McIntosh, Baker, Taranto
St Kilda: Butler 3, King 2, Higgins 2, Gresham, Caminiti, Byrnes, Battle

Richmond: Vlastuin, Cotchin, Balta, Short, Martin, Taranto
St Kilda: Sinclair, Crouch, Butler, Wanganeen-Milera, Marshall, 

Richmond: Ryan (ankle)
St Kilda: Nil

Richmond: Hugo Ralphsmith (replaced Samson Ryan at half-time)
St Kilda: Cooper Sharman (replaced Dougal Howard in the third quarter)

Crowd: 62,686 at the MCG

Ian Stewart Medal

8 - Tim Taranto
5 - Trent Cotchin
3 - Shai Bolton
2 - Dustin Martin
2 - Nick Vlastuin
2 - Dan Butler

Anna Harrington (AAP)

3 - Trent Cotchin
2 - Tim Taranto
1 - Dustin Martin

Michael Barlow (SEN)

3 - Tim Taranto
2-  Trent Cotchin 
1 - Dustin Martin

Matthew Lloyd (3AW)

3 - Tim Taranto
2 - Nick Vlastuin
1 - Trent Cotchin

Ian Stewart

3 - Shai Bolton
2 - Dan Butler
1 - Trent Cotchin