In what has most definitely been the most unorthodox season of AFL football us spectators have viewed, and players/coaches have endured, it is finally concluding. It will be a whooping and mind-boggling conclusion to say the least as the 2020 AFL Grand Final we be played outside of Melbourne and under lights in the history of our great game. The reigning premiers, Richmond will be locking horns with Geelong at the GABBA on Saturday night. A Grand Final that will make history will be a grand spectacle on the field against two clubs who have played tremendously through this COVID-struck season. The Tigers are my personal favourites to win their third flag in four seasons.
Richmond had a slow start to the season; however, they showed their supreme quality through the second half of the season being very dominant, claiming important victories and finishing in the top four. After finishing the home and away season in third place on the ladder, the Tigers battled against ‘then’ favourites Brisbane at the GABBA. In what was a great contest the Lions proved the better side and brilliantly utilised their home ground advantage, defeating the Tigers by 15 points. The Tigers bounced back strongly in the semi-final defeating a St Kilda side with wind in their sails by a comfortable margin of 31 points. The biggest test of the season for the reigning premiers came last week in the Preliminary final. They faced off against Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval and it was fair to say that the Tigers were the underdogs for once as the Power have been the best side all season. However, Richmond demonstrated their quality and finals experience, breaking the hearts of the Port Adelaide faithful, defeating the Power by the goal. In a low scoring game, Dustin Martin proved his worth with a couple of goals and Toby Nankervis was very dominant in the ruck and midfield for the Tigers. This fine display of football by the Tigers showed why they have been the team to beat since 2017 and why they are favourites leading into the Grand Final.
Geelong have been consistent through the season finishing in fourth place, led by veterans Patrick Dangerfield, Tom Hawkins and Joel Selwood. Likewise, with Richmond, the Cats suffered a defeat in the qualifying final to the hands of the Power at the Adelaide Oval. Port Adelaide defeated them by a comfortable three goals as the Cats were not clinical enough, especially for a finals contest. They played Collingwood in the semi-final at the GABBA and Geelong broke their finals hoodoo as they whipped the floor with Collingwood in a 68-point defeat. This incredible victory, embarrassing one of the AFL’s elite injected them with confidence leading into their preliminary final clash against the Lions at the GABBA. Geelong as the underdogs walloped the premiership favourites by forty points, securing their first Grand Final since 2011 and once again silencing the critics about their poor finals record. Gary Rohan was dazzling in the forward line kicking three goals, and Tom Hawkins and Gary Ablett slotted a couple of goals each. Mitch Duncan was the primary ball winner for the Cats notching 22 disposals.
Both outfits in Richmond and Geelong deserve to be facing off in the first Grand Final outside of Melbourne and for the first time ever, the Victorian clubs will not a have a home ground advantage. The Tigers and the Cats are heavily peppered with quality and experience and on their best days, they have the ability to defeat any outfit on the park. Richmond are my favourites, as they match the Cats in list quality, but they are much more consistent and experienced in Grand Final matches. Let us hope that both sides bring their best footy to the GABBA on Saturday night. The Tigers to claim their third premiership in four seasons, forming a modern-day football dynasty.
Richmond by 13-24 points