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Tigers continue march towards AFLW finals

Grace Egan played an influential role for Richmond as the Tigers defeated West Coast in the AFLW. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Richmond's charge towards a maiden AFLW finals berth has continued as they held off a spirited West Coast outfit by 19 points at Lathlain Park in Perth.

The Tigers looked on course for a comfortable win when they opened up a 19-point lead at halftime after a dominant opening two quarters, but the Eagles hit back hard in the second half.

And thanks to a goal-of-the-year contender from their captain Emma Swanson, they got within six points late in the game.

But just as the Eagles looked like pinching a massive upset win, Richmond's Laura McClelland took a courageous mark as she went back with the flight of the ball with little regard for her own safety and took a chest grab before West Coast's Kate Bartlett cannoned into her running from the opposite direction.

It proved to be a match-winning play as it changed the momentum back in Richmond's favour, allowing Grace Egan to kick the last two goals and seal the victory.

The 6.7 (43) to 3.6 (24) result saw the Tigers extend their club record winning streak to five games and provisionally catapulted them into fifth on the ladder.

Egan also had 18 disposals and seven tackles to be the best player on the ground.

She enjoyed great support from Eileen Sheerin, who was outstanding with 21 disposals (12 contested) and a goal, while Mon Conti continued to push her case as the best player in the league with another 18 touches (12 contested), three clearances and a goal.

The win came at a cost for the Tigers, though, with Sophie Molan coming off second best in an ugly head clash with West Coast's Ella Smith in the first quarter and taking no further part in the game.

Meagan Kiely was also reported for a dangerous tackle on Emma Humphries.

The Tigers had won their previous three games by two, four and four points respectively, and as they looked headed for another thriller in the final term, Ferguson described it as an unwanted case of deja vu.

"You can look at that (glass) half full (or) half empty, right? Because the response form that moment (when West Coast got within six points) was just outstanding and I just thought we controlled the game completely from that moment," Ferguson said.

Charlotte Thomas was superb for the Eagles in defence with a game-high 23 disposals, while Swanson was also brilliant with 19 touches, 11 contested possessions and nine tackles.

West Coast dominated the clearances 23-15, but got comprehensively beaten on the outside as Richmond smashed them in the inside 50s (39-20) and also enjoyed a comfortable buffer in contested possessions (109-95).

"There's a few things that we can get better at to get more inside 50s," West Coast coach Michael Prior said.

Whatever happens this weekend, Richmond will remain at least a game inside the top eight with just three rounds to go.

And with match-ups against bottom-10 sides Carlton and GWS still in their run home, Richmond will like their chances of featuring in the finals.

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