David Smith.
Picture: David Smith.

Northern Blues crash to heaviest VFL defeat in more than one year against Richmond
Tim Michell, Preston Leader

June 25, 2017 4:02pm

NORTHERN Blues crashed to their heaviest defeat in more than a year on Sunday, annihilated by 84 points by a ruthless Richmond at Punt Road Oval.

The Tigers dominated from quarter-time at their traditional home, recording 29 scoring shots to five after the teams were level at the first break.

Richmond kicked 14 goals to two in the last three quarters, blitzing a Blues side bereft of answers 16.19 (115) to 4.7 (31).

Taylor Hunt signalled the Tigers’ intentions in the second quarter, starting a run of four majors as the hosts kicked 26 points clear.

Liam Sumner snapped truly to end Richmond’s streak, however any thoughts of a comeback were short-lived.

Jack Graham and Jake Batchelor bagged the last two majors of the half as the Tigers went to halftime with a 33-point lead.

Simple skill errors cruelled the Blues after the main break, allowing Richmond to steamroll the fifth-placed side.

It was party time for the Tigers midway through the third term when veteran ruckman Ivan Marin played on and snapped a goal around his body to open a 47-point lead.

Unable to match the strength of Anthony Miles, Jacob Townsend and Ivan Soldo in the centre, Northern conceded three last-quarter majors to surrender in a crushing defeat.

“We are really disappointed as a footy club,” coach Josh Fraser said.

“We’re going to have to fight really hard to get some respect back in the next week or so.

“We were completely outplayed and really lacked the hunger for the contest which to this point of the season hasn’t really been an issue for us.

“We’re really disappointed what we dished up.”

The 14-goal margin was the Blues’ biggest since Round 5, 2016, when they were belted by 107 points by Casey.

Northern will have no respite this Sunday as it seeks to rebound from its worst performance of the season, hosting Box Hill Hawks at Preston City Oval.

“We took a few steps back and it is going to be really interesting how coaches and players respond,” Fraser said.“It’s important that we stay pretty united as a VFL footy club.”

Rhys Palmer and Simon White were the pick of the senior-listed Blues in a forgettable outing