Geelong have finally turned the tables on nemesis Richmond as Jack Henry's last-gasp goal gave the Cats a thrilling three-point win in the game of the AFL season.
The Cats suffered heartbreaking defeats in the 2019 preliminary final and 2020 grand final after holding big leads against Richmond.
But despite letting a 35-point advantage slip at the MCG on Saturday as the Tigers charged ahead by 17 points early in the last quarter, Geelong were able to come again.
Maurice Rioli Jr calmly slotted a set-shot with two minutes remaining to put the Tigers back in front after the Cats had kicked three-straight goals.
However, Geelong then burst out of the centre clearance with Henry, playing his first game since round five and having made his mark in the AFL as a defender, flying high to grab a spectacular mark.
The 23-year-old went back from 15m out to seal the Cats' 10th win of the season as Geelong prevailed 13.11 (89) to 13.8 (86) to jump into second on the ladder.
"The game looked gone a couple of times there and as a collective we didn't play safe, we knew we had to take the game away from them," Geelong coach Chris Scott said.
"It felt like the 2020 grand final ... I only bring it up because I can't think of a better way to show my admiration for Richmond.
"You've never got control of the game against them, we've been here before."
Richmond bravely fought back into the contest after Geelong booted seven of the first nine goals, with the Tigers losing star midfielder Dion Prestia to concussion in the first quarter.
The triple premiership star was dazed and confused after receiving a forceful elbow from All-Australian Cats defender Tom Stewart.
Prestia was helped off the ground by trainers and replaced by Richmond big man Ivan Soldo.
The incident is certain to attract attention from the match review officer and Stewart will be facing a hefty suspension of four weeks or more.
Stewart was in deep conversation with Scott during the quarter-time break and the Cats coach conceded his star would be missing multiple games.
He was booed by the Tigers faithful every time he went near the ball but still played a crucial role in the Cats' victory, including taking a big contested mark near Richmond's goals in the dying seconds.
Geelong star Jeremy Cameron booted three goals in his 200th AFL game, as did resurgent small forward Tyson Stengle.
For the Tigers, Shai Bolton and Tom Lynch were outstanding with three goals each.
"Heartbreak, really," Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said when speaking about the result.
"It was a great game of footy ... they're a great side, experienced and got a great understanding of what plays work.
"All in all it's a bit of a heartbreaking loss."
Geelong are at home to lowly North Melbourne next Saturday night, while the Tigers will be back at the MCG to face strugglers West Coast on Sunday.
Australian Associated Press
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