In a match that swung wildly after half time, the Tigers booted seven unanswered goals to turn a 23-point half time deficit into a 16-point lead midway through the final term.
However, Fremantle refused to lie down and produced a stirring fightback to surge back in front by nine points with just seven minutes left on the clock.
They booted five supergoals for the match but it was to be Richardson who had the last say.
He snapped the final two goals of the game from close range to steal back the lead, the final goal coming with just 52 seconds left to play.
Then he ran deep into defence and took a match-saving mark 15m from the Fremantle goal with just 29 seconds left.
The 33-year-old started on the wing and again thrived on the freedom he found on the vast expanses of Subiaco Oval.
The final score was 1.12.8 (89) to 5.5.11 (86).but the first half belonged to Fremantle.
They were 28-points ahead after just 12 minutes and it took until the 15-minute mark for Jack Riewoldt to put Richmond’s first goal on the board.
The home side benefitted in the first half from two 50m penalties that handed them nine-point supergoals.
A third supergoal from Andrew Browne put the icing on the cake of a strong first half in which Richmond paid the price for some errant early kicking as well as those two indiscretions that cost supergoals.
The Tigers also missed their first four shots at goal and overused handball, particularly early in the match.
Fremantle sprung a surprise by putting Antoni Grover in attack alongside Dean Solomon and the move worked early. The two tough guys of the side ensured fierce contests in the attacking arc and their vigour rubbed off on the youthful brigade.
Solomon kicked the first goal of the match, a nine-pointer, thanks to a 50m penalty. And Grover added the second of the match after marking a pin-point kick from Paul Hasleby.
The quarter-time margin was 18 points but Richmond made the early running in the second term with consecutive goals to Brown before Fremantle snuck the last two goals of the half to open a handy break.
The Tigers burst out after the long break with four goals in the first eight minutes of the quarter through Riewoldt, Mitch Morton, Brown and rookie Robin Nahas.
Fremantle stemmed the run-on for the next 10 minutes but Morton added the Tigers fifth for the term just before three quarter-time to give them a four-point lead at the last change.
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily of the clubs or the AFL.
Richmond 1.1.5 1.3.5 1.8.5 1.12.8 (89)
Fremantle 2.3.2 3.4.4 3.4.8 5.5.11 (86)
Richmond: Nine-point goals: Richardson. Goals: Morton 3, Brown 3; Riewoldt 2, Richardson 2; Hughes, Nahas.
Fremantle: Nine-point goals: Browne, Schammer, Solomon, Ibbotson, Hill. Goals: Grover, Bradley, De Boer, Murphy, Dodd.
Richmond: Richardson, Deledio, Foley, Riewoldt, Brown, Jackson
Fremantle: Hayden, Solomon, Mundy, Hill, DeBoer, Browne, Sandilands