Coburg fought hard but were unable to come away with their first win of the season, going down to Richmond by 56 points at the Swinburne Centre on Saturday morning.
Despite the final score, Coburg played exciting and solid footy for majority of the match, before the ladder-leaders eventually stormed home in the last 15 minutes.
A tough start meant the Tigers took advantage early, dominating the first term inside-50s, clearances, and disposals; but the Lions did well to keep it close.
Late call-up Hisham Kerbatieh (three goals, 14 touches) kicked the first Coburg goal of the game, also making it their first opening term goal since Round 3.
With the margin just 11 points at the first break, the second term saw even more improvements from the young Lions.
Coburg was able to lock the ball inside-50, not letting the expected Richmond pressure affect them, and played the match on their terms.
The third quarter was arguably Coburg’s best, kicking five goals to one and charging forward to bring the margin back to just 13 points at the final break.
Giving Richmond a slight scare, combined goals from skipper Tom Goodwin and Josh Weightman meant it was just nine points the difference early in the last.
But Richmond continued to run, and had no mercy for Coburg as they powered home.
Showing Coburg fans the exciting brand of footy they can play when sticking to their structures, it seems the Lions are not far off from recording that maiden win.
Marcus Lentini was again on fire in the midfield, racking up 24 disposals, 10 tackles and nine clearances, while Jesse Corigliano and Tom Wallis both got a lot of the ball (19 touches).
23rd man and debutante Sam Binion managed to kick his first senior VFL goal.
Speaking post-game, backline coach Ben Osborne said he was really proud of the Lions’ efforts, and commends them for the way they played the first three quarters.
“To have the best team in the competition on the ropes or close to it, 10 minutes into the last quarter, is a really positive sign,” he said.
“Because we didn’t have the scoreboard pressure on them, and they had it on us, we probably panicked a little and went away from our structures (in the final term).”
“I think belief is one thing, but (sticking to the structures) had worked so well at the start of the game.”
With a bye coming up next weekend, Osborne hopes the players can have a well-needed break and come back to the club refreshed.
Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for updates throughout the week.
Coburg 1.3 2.4 7.4 10.5 (65)
Richmond 3.2 7.6 8.11 18.13 (121)
Goals: Kerbatieh 3, Cannolo 2, Weightman 2, Belo, Binion, Goodwin.
Best: Lentini, Allan, Corigliano, Exon, Cannolo, Nolan.