AFL EDITORIAL-23

Animal Kingdom

By Foti Mantis


It’s not a match up we have seen often in the Grand Final, and it seems tailored to be one of the best premierships in the history of the AFL. Geelong will see themselves up against the reigning premiers Richmond whose record in their last two Grand Finals have turned into thumping’s against their opponents. Ever since 2011, Geelong have shown glimpses of their greatness but have never fully been able to showcase that same fire power from their last premiership. Now, in 2020, they have proven themselves worthy of being Grand Finalists and face the biggest obstacle possible for another premiership. After a back and forward game against the Power, Richmond showed poise, composure and experience in their 6 point win against Port Adelaide in the Preliminary Final. Players like Toby Nankervis, Dustin Martin and Kane Lambert had game altering performances that helped their team fight against the highly talented Connor Rozee, Travis Boak and Ollie Wines who led the front for the Power for the majority of the game. In the end, it was clear that Port had more to fight for and, as a consequence, looked more desperate and at times rushy than their counterparts. Whereas the Tigers stayed calm and loyal to their game plan and refused to fall prey to the pace and momentum of finals footy. Geelong, on the other hand, had the upper foot against Brisbane for the entirety of the game. The Cats slowly strangled the Lions and finished them off in the fourth quarter, winning in the end by 40 points. Again, it may have been experience that distinguished Geelong as the better team, but young players like Brandan Parfitt and Sam Simpson stood up to the finals stage and provided the Cats with pressure and balance. However, the Veterans in Tom Hawkins, Mitch Duncan, Gary Ablett and Joel Selwood lead their team to victory with an almost flawless performance that outplayed the young Brisbane Lions team. Lachie Neale, who just won the Brownlow Medal Sunday night, was the shining jewel in the Lions team and seemed to be the only threat against Geelong. As for this week’s Grand Final on Saturday, not much can be said to split the two teams. Both are prepared for the big stage and will try to make their mark in the history books. Geelong have yearned to once again win the Premiership for many years, and arguably have more pressure to come out victorious. Richmond, however, have the chance to be named as one of the greatest teams to ever play if they can win their third Grand Final.


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