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The Chase: Can the Tigers end an all-time drought?

September 21, 2017 7:00 AM


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IT HAS been 35 long years since Richmond last reached a Grand Final.

On September 25, 1982, when the Tigers last played off in the big one, Malcolm Fraser was the prime minister, coach Damien Hardwick was just 10 years old and superstar Dustin Martin was still nine years off arriving into the world.

Fans aren't quite sure how to react to Richmond aiming for its long-awaited Grand Final berth when it takes on Greater Western Sydney on Saturday

A whole generation of Richmond fans don't know what it's like for their team to be playing on that one day in September. And it's very nearly Tiger time. 

It shouldn't come as a surprise, given the Tigers' Lids have been off since the NAB AFL Trade Period, after former Richmond star Brett Deledio was traded to the Giants. 

Richmond has played 778 games since its last Grand Final in 1982, the fifth longest Grand Final drought in history

It'll be close to the loudest "Yellow and black" ever heard from the Punt Road end of the MCG if the Tigers win on Saturday evening.

The stats within the streak

It's no secret September has been a lean month for Richmond since its last Grand Final appearance in 1982. The Tigers have only played 10 finals in the past 35 years, with a 3-7 win-loss record. 

While Richmond fans have been lamenting wasted seasons, Hawthorn fans have been growing accustomed to September success – the Hawks have played in 13 Grand Finals since 1982, for an astonishing nine premierships. 

That's one premiership every 3.8 seasons, for all the success-starved fans out there.

In fact, the only teams not to have played in a Grand Final since 1982 are the now-defunct Fitzroy, and new teams Gold Coast and GWS.

But in somewhat reassuring news for Tigers fans, Richmond's current streak doesn’t come anywhere near the longest Grand Final drought of all time.

The Western Bulldogs broke their drought just last year, which had stood at 1213 games.


Who's next best?

The Tigers also comfortably hold the longest current Grand Final drought. 

Interestingly, Adelaide, a potential opponent should both teams win their preliminary finals, is in second place on the current list. The Crows have played 441 games since their last Grand Final in 1998.

Games since last GF Club Year of last GF
778 Richmond 1982
441 Adelaide 1998
413 North Melbourne 1999
407 Carlton 1999
380 Melbourne 2000

The Chaser: Roll up, the Stevie J show is about to start

Steve Johnson is a player made for finals.

The former Cat often saved his most magical best for September, and showed his Giants teammates how it's done at the pointy end of the season with six goals against West Coast last week. 

He already has the second-highest amount of finals goals of current players (behind Lance Franklin), and with another six goals will become the 23rd player to kick 50 goals in finals matches

Legendary Collingwood forward Gordon Coventry has kicked the most finals goals of all time, with 111 from 31 finals. 

With a GWS win, Johnson will also qualify for his fifth Grand Final (if selected). He's not alone either, with former Cats teammates Joel Selwood and Andrew Mackie also chasing their fifth Grand Finals in their very successful careers.

Silky Hawk Shaun Burgoyne is the current September king, with six Grand Final appearances, while former games record holder Michael Tuck holds the all-time record with 11.

Text: Sarah Black | Designs: Kahla Emonson | Stats: Cameron Sinclair

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The Chase: more mini milestones