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Tempers flare after rib tickler in tightly fought ANZAC Eve clash

Jarred Cross -

Melbourne and Richmond players are giving each other some extra physical attention in a grinding first half at the MCG for their annual ANZAC Eve matchup.

On the brink of quarter time, Tigers duo Daniel Rioli and Rhyan Mansell found themselves as the centre of the fallout sparked by Marlion Pickett's rib tickler to Clayton Oliver as Bailey Fritsch lined up for a set shot as the seconds ticked down.

Pickett is a chance to avoid a serious look into the incident from the MRO if it was an open hand blow, but sparked a spotfire in an any case.

It later found Daniel Rioli involved on the turf with Jack Viney after the Melbourne bull went in to remonstrate for the catalyst dealt by Pickett.

Pickett was busy in the first quarter, with his involvement around the contest worth far more than his 11 by half time. 

He looked particularly dangerous in the opening term, and has had a big influence denying Christian Petracca from his usual damage with the ball with a tough tag.

Emerging Pasifika star Mykelti Lefau slotted the Tigers’ first after beating two Dees in the goal square shortly after displaying a bit of his rugby league background with a crunching tackle to the midsection of a Melbourne opponent in the middle of the ground. 

Lefau's addition limited the quarter time margin back to 1.3 (9) - 2.3 (15) after the Dees squandered a number of good opportunities in front of goal. 

After the quarter time siren, Rhyan Mansell saw himself giving up of height when he entered a pushing contest with Melbourne skipper Max Gawn as emotions ran high. 

It left plenty of feeling in the contest which didn't dissolve quickly. 

Mansell found himself on the end of a big hit from Melbourne forward Kyle Chandler, and Steven May got involved with landing a heavy spoil with plenty of body contact mid-way through the second term. 

Following a quiet start, Shai Bolton began working his way into the contest during the quarter.

He helped his side add their third major with just over three minutes remaining in the first half with a well weighted kick to Hugo Ralphsmith sitting alone inside fifty. 

Ralphsmith dished off to Maurice Rioli for his second attempt at goal and first success. 

The Tigers lead Melbourne 3.6 (24) - 3.5 (23) at half time.


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