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Richmond hang on for AFL win over Hawks

By Roger Vaughan
Richmond survived a late fright from Hawthorn for a 23-point win in their AFL clash at the MCG. (AAP)

Richmond have survived a late scare to beat Hawthorn by 23 points in their AFL clash at the MCG.

A four-goal run from the Hawks reduced the deficit to 10 points with less than three minutes left, but Richmond steadied and won 17.15 (117) to 14.10 (94).

As the Hawks pressed, Jason Castagna smothered a Denver Grainger-Barras kick out of defence and then goalled to kill off the challenge.

Tigers star Shai Bolton then followed up with an outstanding running goal.

The Hawks could have put Richmond under even more pressure late in the game, but James Worpel sprayed his shot at goal.

Bolton's second term was critical for the Tigers and he finished with two goals, while co-captain Toby Nankervis dominated the ruck and Dion Prestia made a successful return from injury.

Hawthorn troubled Richmond early and led by seven points at the first break, but suffered a major blow on the quarter-time siren when Jack Gunston was hurt in a marking contest.

Gunston tried to return early in the second term, but only lasted a couple of minutes before he limped off and was subbed out of the match.

Despite losing one of their most experienced players, the Hawks kicked the first three goals of the second quarter to lead by 25 points.

Then the Tigers scored two goals against the run of play, first a soccer-style strike from Jack Graham and then a stunning snap from captain Toby Nankervis.

Suddenly, Hawthorn's momentum was gone and with Bolton roaring into top gear, the Tigers took control.

Richmond kicked six goals to four and had a six-point lead at the main break, extending that to 19 points at the last change.

Dustin Martin snapped a freak goal in the third, while at the other end Hawthorn's Sam Butler was denied a goal on debut by fellow first-gamer Bigoa Nyuon.

The Richmond backman created enough doubt with his desperate lunge on the goal line for the score to be confirmed a touched behind on video review.

Tom Lynch kicked four goals for Richmond, but defender James Sicily was solid on him and was the Hawks' best player.

The Tigers lost Noah Balta in the third quarter with a hamstring injury.

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