Richmond’s premiership defence continues to unravel, with the team giving up a 28-point lead to Collingwood at the MCG to lose their fourth straight match.
In Sunday’s other results, the Sydney Swans sprung an upset by beating the Western Bulldogs by 19 points at Docklands, while Gold Coast pipped GWS by a point in Ballarat.
At the MCG, the Tigers appeared to be cruising towards a comfortable victory in the third quarter.
But the Magpies had other ideas, slamming through seven straight goals — and eight of the last nine in the match — to overturn a 20-point deficit at three-quarter-time and prevail 13.9 (87) to 11.5 (71).
It was just the Magpies’ fifth win of a tumultuous season and their first in caretaker coach Robert Harvey’s third match in charge since taking over from Nathan Buckley.
Richmond threatened, multiple times, to blow the match open during the first three quarters but Collingwood was able to keep the margin at a manageable level.
But just as they did in the final quarter against St Kilda last week — albeit without winning — the Magpies ran completely over the top of their opposition.
Tom Lynch’s third goal gave Richmond a late sniff of reclaiming the lead, before maligned Magpies forward Josh Thomas’s second major sealed a memorable boilover.
The result leaves Richmond in 12th position on the ladder with a 7-9 win-loss record and in serious danger of missing the finals altogether after winning three of the last four premierships.
Dynamic forward Jamie Elliott was electric for the Magpies, with three vital goals.
For the Tigers, youngster Sydney Stack made a solid return in his first match since round 13 last year following a series of off-field indiscretions.
Veteran Jack Riewoldt became the 24th player in the VFL/AFL history to kick 700 goals when he bagged a major after the half-time siren, which saw him mobbed by Richmond teammates.
Young Magpies forward Will Kelly failed to see out the first half and was subbed out of the match with a calf injury for Trey Ruscoe.
Richmond has just five days to recover before hosting Brisbane at the MCG on Friday night, while the Magpies will clash with old rivals Carlton on Sunday.
Swans shake off Bulldogs
Sydney has taken a massive step towards its first finals series in three years with a stunning 19-point upset of the Western Bulldogs.
Jordan Dawson kicked three first-half goals and the Swans midfield kept chipping away as they gradually ground down their highly credentialed opponents in a 11.13 (79) to 8.12 (60) victory at Docklands.
Jake Lloyd (33 disposals), Callum Mills (31) and Luke Parker (27) all played big roles and George Hewett was important in shadowing prolific Bulldogs midfielder Jack Macrae around the contest.
Will Hayward bobbed up with two majors as one of seven goal kickers for the Swans, as they spread the load in a true team performance.
The Swans, who won just five matches and finished 16th last year, have now beaten three of the top-four sides and look destined for September action.
Their latest triumph came almost three weeks after being hurriedly relocated out of Sydney because of the city’s worsening COVID-19 crisis.
The Bulldogs dominated clearances 46-26 but were unable to take advantage as they registered one of their lowest scores of the season, with a makeshift forward line failing to fire in the absence of spearhead Aaron Naughton.
Bulldogs young gun Jamarra Ugle-Hagan entered the contest under an intense spotlight in his highly-anticipated debut.
The number one draft pick had seven disposals in attack and spilt a few marking attempts, while his two early shots at goal resulted in a smothered kick and a rushed behind in a goal-mouth scramble.
Lance Franklin finished with 1.3 from 10 disposals under the close watch of Alex Keath and put another shot out on the full as the Swans looked to shut the gate midway through the final term.
But it mattered little as he grabbed his next opportunity and ran into an open goal in front of the Swans cheer squad to put the exclamation mark on his team’s impressive performance.
Marcus Bontempelli (27 disposals), Bailey Smith (27) and Caleb Daniel (30) all won plenty of the ball for the Bulldogs but could not drag their side over the line.
Suns pip Giants in gripping finish
The Giants’ finals hopes are hanging by a thread after they conceded two goals in the final four minutes to lose to Gold Coast by a point in Ballarat.
GWS appeared set for victory after Toby Greene’s third goal put his side 12 points up midway through the final quarter.
The margin was still 11 points with less than four minutes remaining, but goals to Matt Rowell and David Swallow within the space of 60 seconds gave the Suns a one-point lead.
Swallow’s dribbled shot on the run from 10 metres out had actually hit the post, but he was allowed to retake the kick after the umpire deemed the Suns veteran had been pushed in the back.
Greene had the chance to either level the scores or put GWS ahead with a 40-metre set shot from the pocket with less than two minutes remaining.
But the kick against a stiff and swirly breeze fell short and Suns defender Charlie Ballard was on hand to mark the ball.
The Suns survived several other frantic attacks by GWS in the final 100 seconds to hold on for the 10.5 (65) to 9.10 (64) win.
But the triumph came at a major cost, with midfielder Hugh Greenwood suffering a suspected ACL tear to his right knee in the first quarter.
The result saw GWS (7-1-8) drop from eighth spot to 10th on the ladder, leaving them little wiggle room in their fight for a finals berth.
Suns midfielder Touk Miller was outstanding with 32 disposals, 14 tackles and two goals.
Greene booted 3.2 from 20 disposals. His highlight was a fly-kick goal on the line in the third quarter after the ball had come off hands.
Giants midfielder Lachie Whitfield was subbed off at halftime with concussion.
Whitfield copped a forearm to the head while taking a strong mark in the second term.
After stumbling to his feet, Whitfield went back and nailed the goal, but was later subbed off when the concussion effects became clearer.
The wind played a huge factor all day, with Greene’s strolling 55-metre bomb in the opening term showing how powerful it was.
The Giants held a 13-point lead heading into the final term, but given they would finish the match kicking against the breeze, the Suns were in pole position.
But it was not until the final four minutes of the match when the Suns made the critical move.