Coniglio headed into the game with a heavily strapped left knee and had to be helped from the ground in the arms of the trainers, unable to put any weight on his left leg.
Richmond, with three wins in a row, have roared back into premiership contention and their latest victory moved them up to fifth on the ladder, continuing their charge back towards the top four.
With Toby Nankervis and Alex Rance the only members of their best team on the injury list, and the rest of their home-and-away games at the MCG, it all seems to be coming together for Richmond at the right time of the year.
Meanwhile, the Giants are in freefall, having lost their last three games and might retain their top eight spot on percentage alone if the Power beat Brisbane. Their hopes of a double-chance have taken a big hit and they have a massive clash against a resurgent Collingwood next week.
They’ve now won just three of 18 games at the MCG and their latest loss at the ground puts the spotlight back on their capacity to challenge for the premiership in September.
The Giants began the game in shocking fashion with their lack of organisation and pressure allowing the Tigers to do as they pleased. Richmond got first hands on the ball and the Giants’ inability to spread prevented them from keeping up with the Tigers on the outside.
However, the GWS midfield, led by Lachie Whitfield and Tim Taranto, got them back into the game and the Giants’ increased pressure curtailed Richmond’s running game in the second term.
The visitors proceeded to boot four goals in a row, including a brilliant pair to Jeremy Cameron, to cut the deficit to just nine points early in the third stanza.
But that’s as close as they would get as the yellow-and-black machine started to look more like the 2017 version of themselves as the day went on.
Who else would it be to get the ball rolling for Richmond other than Sydney Stack? At the six-minute mark of the first term, the excitement machine collected the loose ball, engaged in a one-two with Riewoldt, effortlessly sold some candy to an opponent and dobbed it from 45 metres out with class. Eight minutes later, Stack prematurely celebrated what he thought was another goal, but comically had to be told by Bachar Houli that he in fact hit the post – much to his dismay.
Greater Western Sydney’s poor start to the game was perhaps best encapsulated by Tom Lynch’s goal late in the first quarter. The former Sun found himself double-teamed by Phil Davis and Sam Taylor but the GWS duo were out of sync with each other in the marking contest, allowing the ball to fall into Lynch’s lap and the star forward waltzed into the open goal from the goal square.
RIEWOLDT IS BACK
It certainly wasn’t the best game of Richmond spearhead Riewoldt’s glittering career, but the Tigers would have been pleased with his output and also the fact that he got through his first game back in 11 weeks from a knee injury. He accrued 10 touches, three marks and a goal and played a handy support role for Lynch who was one of the Tigers’ best.
RICHMOND 4.4 6.7 10.13 13.16 (94)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 0.2 4.5 6.7 9.13 (67)
Goals: Richmond: K Lambert 3 T Lynch 3 J Castagna 2 J Riewoldt M Chol S Bolton S Edwards S Stack. Greater Western Sydney: I Hill 3 J Cameron 3 T Greene 2 B Daniels.
Best: Richmond: Lynch, Lambert, Bolton, Houli, Ellis, Prestia, Castagna. GWS: Cameron, Greene, Whitfield, Taranto, Hill, Lloyd, Hopper.
Umpires: Brett Rosebury, Nicholas Foot, Hayden Gavine
Official Crowd: 38,986 at MCG
Ronny Lerner is a Sports reporter for The Age.