10 (136) bt Geelong 10.15 (75)
Richmond 15.13 (103) bt GWS 9.13 (67)
THEY SAID IT: “There’s no doubt we go in as underdogs, that’s the harsh reality of it.” But Richmond coach Damien Hardwick says his team will be ready for the Crows.
MEN OF THE PRELIMS: The No.23 on the back of a Crows jumper and the name Rioli mean plenty in the AFL. Just as Andrew McLeod was outstanding in Adelaide’s premierships two decades ago, Charlie Cameron starred with five goals on Friday night. And fellow indigenous player Daniel Rioli also stood up for the Tigers a day later, kicking four goals.
KEY MOMENT: Just over a minute into the last quarter in front of the long-suffering Tiger army at the MCG, overwhelming Brownlow Medal favourite Dustin Martin kicks his third straight goal. Richmond are nearly 40 points ahead and they know their 35-year grand final drought will soon break.
TALKING POINT: The AFL have announced that Richmond must wear their clash strip for the grand final. That’s prompted Tigers great Kevin Bartlett to declare on Twitter that his club “should and must tell the AFL to get stuffed”. Hardwick has said his team would be happy to play in a grand final wearing hessian bags.
STATS THAT MATTER: The last time an AFL grand final featured no players with experience in the Big Dance? That would be the very first one, in 1898.
TRIBUNAL WATCH: Two big match review panel findings to come. Richmond captain Trent Cotchin collected Dylan Shiel heavily as they went for the ball in the first quarter. Shiel did not return after quarter time. Adelaide vice-captain Rory Sloane also floored Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield in a massive collision. Dangerfield left the field briefly, but played out the game. Tigers utility Brandon Ellis could also be in strife after he caught Lachie Whitfield with a high bump.
KEY INJURIES: Mitch McGovern (Adel, hamstring) Dustin Martin (Rich, ribs) Brandon Ellis (Rich, wrist).
WHAT’S NEXT: The biggest week of the season. The Brownlow Medal on Monday night, grand final team training sessions, the grand final parade on Friday and then the match on Saturday. Who breaks their premiership drought – Adelaide (19 years) or Richmond (37 years)?