Tigers and Dockers play out thrilling draw as costly errors make for dramatic climax

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Richmond and Fremantle have played out the first AFL draw of the season, making it three-straight nailbiting contests for the Tigers.

After losing to Gold Coast and lowly North Melbourne in devastating circumstances during the past two weeks, Richmond tested the hearts of their supporters at Docklands Stadium on Friday night.


Young Tigers forward Noah Cumberland marked just outside 50m, but played on just as the siren sounded as the umpire signalled the end of the game.


Richmond had many chances to win the game but Cumberland only needed to bomb the ball through for a point to secure a memorable win after Marlion Pickett hit him on the chest.

The Tigers led at every break, including by eight points at three-quarter-time, but the scores ended tied at 7.10 (52) apiece.

Tigers swingman Noah Balta also had a set-shot in the dying stages but took too long and was called to play-on by the umpire and had his kick smothered.

“You always look at the last few seconds and define the game by that, but there’s so many little moments that happen over the journey,” Richmond star Nick Riewoldt told ABC Sport.

“I think for both the Noah’s it’s just, it is what it is, it’s footy.

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“You can chose to dwell on it or he can chose to grow.

It is another blow to the Tigers’ top-eight hopes, and they could drop to as low as 10th by the end of the round.

In a dirty night for the Dockers, superstar captain Nat Fyfe was subbed off early in the third quarter with a suspected hamstring injury.

Fyfe kicked an important goal during the second quarter and looked set to stamp his mark on the match before suffering the injury setback.

The dual Brownlow medallist missed the first 12 games of the season following numerous issues with his body since July last year.

A defensively-minded Richmond looked to have found a way to win in a low-scoring scrap, but the Dockers booted two goals to one in the final quarter.

Shai Bolton falls backwards and attempts to kick the ball as David Mundy drives him in a tackle
The points were shared as Richmond and Fremantle played out a thrilling draw.(Getty Images: Darrian Traynor)

Maurice Rioli Jnr came into the game midway through the final term after Ben Miller was subbed out, laying a big tackle to have an impact.

Fremantle’s top-four aspirations took a hit and Collingwood will push the Dockers down to fifth if they defeat Essendon on Sunday.

The Tigers will face the Brisbane Lions at the MCG next Sunday, while Fremantle are back on the Friday night stage when they host reigning premiers Melbourne at Perth Stadium.


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