For once, Richmond’s Dustin Martin didn’t pull a rabbit out of the hat.
But it didn’t stop the unbeaten Tigers again making the Brisbane Lions their Easter bunnies at the Gabba on Sunday.
Richmond (4-0) have made their best season start since 1995 after extending their remarkable streak against the Lions with a 52-point round four thumping.
Despite a rare quiet night for Martin, the Tigers notched their 10th straight win over Brisbane – a run stretching back to 2009.
And it was their eighth straight Gabba victory – Brisbane’s last home win over Richmond was way back in 2004.
But Tigers punters will no doubt be more excited about their best start in 22 years after the 17.7 (119) to 10.7 (67) romp in front of 21,669 fans.
Back in 1995, Richmond made the preliminary final.
Thirteen of the Tigers’ current player list had not even been born.
Rather than talk up their start, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick already had his eye on next week’s opponents Melbourne.
“Outside the footy club things will be beat up, but the reality is we’re four rounds into a long season,” he said.
“We haven’t beaten Melbourne I think for the last three years so that’ll certainly be my focus.
“And they’ll be smarting after a loss on the weekend (to Fremantle) so there’ll be two teams going hammer and tongs.”
Martin had been able to produce a bit of magic each round, averaging almost 33 touches a game and kicking eight goals before the Gabba clash.
However, Martin was restricted to just 16 touches and three behinds for the visitors by Mitch Robinson.
With Martin failing to fire, Brisbane threatened to hit back in the third term limiting the damage to just 31 points.
But four goals each to rookie Jason Castagna and Jack Riewoldt and the ever present Trent Cotchin (20 touches) and Dion Prestia (22) ensured Richmond cruised home.
Hardwick was encouraged that the Tigers did not have to rely on Martin for the win.
“I thought Dion (Prestia) stepped up to fill that void a little bit,” he said.
“Those sort of players are important to us because we can’t consistently rely on those guys to win us games week in and week out.”
Richmond’s four goal burst in five minutes early in the second quarter proved the difference as the visitors grabbed a 42-point halftime lead.
Lions coach Chris Fagan admitted turnovers proved their downfall but encouraged his young team to remain fearless with the ball.
“You still have to go for it. How do you get better if you go into your shell?” he said.
“I think they are still a little bit gun shy from a few years of not winning many games.
“It’s a slow process helping these guys starting to believe in themselves.”