Forget for a moment the perversity of the fact a side that lost as many games as it won and finished outside the eight is now into the second week of the finals. There was greater perversity on display at the MCG on Sunday than that. It was a perversity not contained to the change in two teams in one half of football to the other.
There was also the perversity of the change in complexion of the match coming from a man who should not have been playing at all. Chris Judd was supposed to have been recovering from knee surgery now, not turning out in and turning around a game of football.
Or the perverse fact that one of the other men to upend this match was Nick Duigan, a player who was not in the team on Sunday morning but was one of its heroes by Sunday night. He was a player who came into the game as a forward having spent his short career as a defender. The discarded backman booted four goals.
The change in this game could scarcely have been foreseen when Aaron Edwards kicked Richmond's 11th goal to put them 32 points up early in the third quarter and roaring in front of 94,690 towards a Sydney semi-final.
Trent Cotchin was the most industrious around the packs, feeding off Ivan Maric with Daniel Jackson and harrying Carlton from the centre. Brett Deledio and Bachar Houli were linking play and Aaron Edwards was the focal point deep forward even if he failed to convert the opportunities that would have probably killed the contest. Jack Riewoldt roamed high without any undue effect.
Richmond's burst of four goals in five minutes in the second term provided them with the scoreboard result they had missed in the first quarter. In the first quarter Richmond had 19 inside 50s to Carlton's six and dwarfed the Blues in most meaningful statistics yet only led by eight points.
Carlton were not perturbed at the main break, despite having played poorly as they were still only four goals down. They came from behind against Richmond only weeks ago and then again last week against Port.
''If you look around the rooms everyone is holding up banners 'believe'. I think as a team we believed in ourselves, we believed that we could run over them and that is what happened,'' forward Eddie Betts said.
The first hint of a Carlton revival came when Judd - quiet to the point of ineffectual in the first half - imposed himself in the match to redirect the flow of the contest in much the manner that Luke Hodge had on Friday night. Judd had 11 possessions - eight of them contested - in that third term as, through the intervention of Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy and Brett Robinson in the middle, Carlton denied Richmond the use of the ball in a way they could not in the first half. Kade Simpson's run from behind the play and lesser players like Tom Bell sweeping through the lines meant the Tigers were the ones being assailed.
Carlton brought Duigan into the team as a late replacement for the lame Brock McLean and it was forward he went not back. Duigan had spent most of the second half of the season in the VFL playing as a defensive forward once the idea of him operating as a backman had withered. He stood Brett Deledio when the running player was forward which seemed an optimistic thought given the obvious pace discrepancy between them, but Duigan tried to force accountability through smarts not speed.