Exactly a year since their last MCG loss, Richmond remain unbeatable at the grand final venue and are back on top of the AFL ladder.
Their 18-point win over Geelong on Sunday in windy, sodden conditions was a pulsating clash that was a preview of coming September attractions.
It was also officially a Geelong home game and Richmond's 12.11 (83) to 9.11 (65) win again emphasises the strength of their MCG advantage.
The Tigers' MCG streak is now 16, one short of the venue record set by Melbourne in the 1950s.
Geelong certainly were not disgraced and but for a few crucial errors in the last quarter, they could have won.
Asked to pick which team is in the best shape midway through the season, Cats coach Chris Scott pointed to Richmond's home ground advantage.
All three of Richmond's losses this season have been interstate.
"At least statistically, it depends on where the game's played, seemingly," Scott said.
"They are fortunate that they play a lot of games here and they play the ground really well.
"So you would have thought if they're good enough to make it to the last game here, they would be the team to beat, but there's still a lot of footy to be played.
"But if you held a gun to my head and asked me to pick a team, I'd probably pick them."
Geelong won the centre clearances 18-6 and had nine more inside 50s, but Richmond's pressure was back to its best.
Scott felt the best players - Gary Ablett and Patrick Dangerfield for the Cats, Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin for Richmond - probably negated each other.
Scott pointed instead to the strength of Richmond's system.
It is also significant that Shane Edwards and Nick Vlastuin were the popular choices as best afield, along with star Geelong captain Joel Selwood.
Richmond kicked four goals to one in the last term to seal the win after leading by a point at three-quarter time.
Several controversial incidents will attract plenty of post-game review.
The AFL twitter account posted video of an incident early in the third term, where Richmond star Alex Rance was putting pressure on Dangerfield.
At one point, Rance's hand went low on Dangerfield's midriff as the Cats star appealed for a free kick.
Amid plenty of talk about milking free kicks, Dangerfield is in the spotlight for an incident on the outer wing late in the third quarter in a one-on-one contest with Martin.
The free kick to the Cats star looked generous.
Vlaustuin will come under video review for his clumsy open-handed coat hanger that caught Selwood high during the third term.
Selwood was awarded a 50m penalty and kicked a booming 50m goal.
The Cats captain was unaffected by the contact and Vlastuin will most likely escape suspension.
Australian Associated Press