The Northern Blues romped to a 56-point victory over Richmond in a VFL practice match at Punt Rd on Thursday night.
The Blues got the early jump and were never headed, coming away with a convincing 20. 10. (130) to 11. 8. (74) victory.
In what was the Blues’ first victory under Josh Fraser, a ruthless third term saw the Blues pile on seven goals to two to effectively ice the game.
It was the work of Northern’s key forwards which got the job done, with Liam Jones, Daniel Gorringe, Jack Silvagni (three goals each), Kristian Jaksch and Ben Casley (two goals apiece) wreaking havoc all match.
Jones set the tone early in the match, with all three of his goals coming in the opening term in a commanding display up forward.
The Blues managed to hold the Tigers at arms length for the opening half of the contest, before kicking away in the third term to lead by 61 points at the final change.
Ciaran Byrne (28 disposals) and Matthew Dick (22 disposals) played key roles down back, while Zach Ballard was industrious in the middle.
Carlton’s first-year players impressed, in particular Jack Silvagni, whose second-quarter goal was the pick of the bunch in a fruitful afternoon for Northern’s forwards.
The Blues’ ability to punish the Tigers on the counter attack was a feature all afternoon, conceding from less than 50 per cent of Richmond’s inside 50s while managing 30 scoring shots for the match.
Coming up against former Northern Blues Adam Marcon and Jacob Ballard, the Blues’ application at the coalface was typified by Jacob’s brother Zach, who finished with six clearances and six tackles to go with 21 disposals.
In further positive news for the Blues, the game marked the successful returns from injuries for club veterans Kieran McGuinness and Brent Bransgrove as well as Carlton’s Liam Sumner.
Speaking post-match, Dillon Viojo-Rainbow said the playing group was pleased to put together a consistent four-quarter effort.
“It was really good to get the first win on the board for the new Northern Blues: it might just be pre-season but it’s always good to put in a solid performance like we did,” Viojo-Rainbow said.
“It was a really good hitout, the second for the year: we learnt from what happened last year where we just got done in the last so we were on the front foot today and that launches the way we want to play for the year ahead.”
Continuing on from his impressive game against Box Hill last week, Viojo-Rainbow collected 20 disposals playing off a wing and half-back in a typically classy display.
Viojo-Rainbow said the form of the key forwards gave the Blues every possible chance to kick a winning score against the Tigers.
“When the big boys are making it up forward like they did today, it’s really uplifting for our teammates and gives us full confidence in them giving us an outlet,” Viojo-Rainbow said.
The Northern Blues’ next practice match comes next Saturday against Port Melbourne at Preston City Oval.
FULL-TIME AT PUNT RD. OVAL
RICHMOND 1.2 5.5 7.6 11. 8. (74)
NORTHERN BLUES 5.3 10.4 17.7 20. 10. (130)
NORTHERN BLUES: Jones 3, Gorringe 3, Silvagni 3, Casley 2, Jaksch 2, Gallucci 2, Tutt 2, Wood, Kerbatieh, Gowers.