Tigers cruise past Cats, move into AFL top four

Richmond have flexed their premiership muscle to move into the AFL's top four but their 26-point win over Geelong on Friday has come at a cost.

Ruckman Ivan Soldo's season is over with what is feared to be an ACL injury, while key forward Tom Lynch failed to finish the match after injuring a hamstring in the third quarter.

Despite the absences, the Tigers were too good for the Cats at Metricon Stadium, claiming a 7.15 (57) to 4.7 (31) win which will sound a warning to their finals rivals.

The Tigers have now won five of their past six against the Cats and have moved above Chris Scott's team and West Coast into third place with one home-and-away fixture to play against bottom-placed Adelaide next weekend.

Soldo will have scans to diagnose the full extent of his injury but Tigers coach Damien Hardwick confirmed the "significant" knee injury will rule him out of the remainder of 2020.

Lynch will also undergo scans and won't play against the Crows but if his injury isn't too serious, could be a chance to return for the first week of finals.

"I thought all our players stood up at various stages, especially after some adversity too, losing Soldo and Tom throughout the course of the night but it was just pleasing that it was probably a very even team performance," Hardwick said.

Tigers' forward Jack Riewoldt made light of Lynch's absence to kick four goals, while returning defender Dylan Grimes had a sensational game in defence.

Grimes showed no signs of rust from his recent injury absence as he claimed 12 intercepts and six marks as the Tigers restricted the Cats to just one goal by three-quarter time.

In fact their halftime score of 1.3 (10) was the lowest for the Cats at the main break since 1957 with that slow start leaving them with too much to do in the final term in Irishman Zach Tuohy's 200th AFL match.

Key forward Tom Hawkins barely had a sniff until he scored a fourth-quarter goal in a Cats' flurry which threatened an unlikely comeback before Jason Castagna and Riewoldt settled the contest.

Esava Ratugolea marked his return to the Cats' team with two fourth-quarter goals but Scott said his team had simply come up short against the competition's best.

"We looked a little bit off there's no doubt about that but it's always hard to assess, at least in the immediate aftermath, how much is you and how much is them," the Cats' coach said.

"They're the best team in the comp, have been for a while, so I suspect a fair bit of it was them."

Geelong will need to beat Sydney or hope the injury-hit Eagles lose to North Melbourne to secure a top-four finish.

Geelong also had an injury concern with Gary Rohan (quad) replaced before the game by debutant Ben Jarvis.