Richmond's golden era looks as good as over after losing an at times lacklustre contest 11.6 (72) to 6.12 (48) to Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.
Poor kicking for goal in the first half left the recent three-time premiership side behind the eight ball and in desperate need to lift a level, but when the game resumed it was more of the same, allowing the SUNS to pull away to a match-winning 28-point lead at the final break.
The Tigers finally found a heartbeat in the fourth quarter and did the majority of the attacking, but couldn't do enough to keep their season alive.
Gold Coast's young midfield was all over their more experienced and battle-hardened opponents, and games aren't won by who's got the more impressive trophy cabinet.
Wil Powell and Noah Anderson led the way with plenty of support from Darcy Macpherson and Matt Rowell, who continues to throw his body into every contest.
Ben King's re-emergence continued after missing all of last year due to injury, kicking four goals to follow his five from last round.
Tim Taranto was the Tigers' best again with occasional glimpses from Dustin Martin and Shai Bolton, but it will take more than cameos for this Richmond side to pull off a miracle campaign this year.
Rowell adds the growl - and so much more
Sunday’s win saw Matt Rowell go past 25 disposals for just the third time in his career, but the bullocking midfielder’s best work is done with his whole body, not just the hands and feet. The former number one draft pick throws himself into every contest and is leading the league for tackles with over eight a game. The fact he is also logging career-best averages in disposals and marks suggests he is heading towards being the superstar he hinted at being in his unforgettable first month at AFL level and, along with best buddy Noah Anderson, could give the SUNS exactly what they need both on and off the field.
RICHMOND 1.5 2.9 4.11 6.12 (48)
GOLD COAST: 2.1 4.2 10.3 11.6 (72)
Richmond: Ryan 2, Riewoldt, Taranto, Soldo, Bolton,
Gold Coast: King 4, Holman 2, Witts, Fiorini, Ellis, Anderson, Ainsworth
Richmond: Taranto, Rioli, Vlastuin, Short, Martin, Bolton,
Gold Coast: Powell, Anderson, Rowell, McPherson, King, Ballard, Fiorini
Gold Coast: Nil
Richmond: Judson Clarke (replaced Tyler Sonsie in the third quarter)
Gold Coast: Malcolm Rosas (replaced Bailey Humphrey in the third quarter)
Crowd: TBC at Marvel Stadium