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Hardwick reaches for underdog tag ahead of GF

Dimma: 'We're capable of beating anyone' Damien Hardwick believes his team will be 'underdogs' but is still looking forward to the GF
Damien Hardwick embraces Bachar Houli after Richmond's drought-breaking preliminary final victory - AFL,Richmond Tigers,Damien Hardwick,Grand Final
Damien Hardwick embraces Bachar Houli after Richmond's drought-breaking preliminary final victory

RICHMOND accepts it will enter the Grand Final as underdog but believes its best is good enough to topple Adelaide, Tigers coach Damien Hardwick says.

The Crows demolished the Tigers by 76 points in their only other meeting this year, in round six at the Adelaide Oval.

But Hardwick's men will get their chance for revenge on football's biggest stage after beating Greater Western Sydney by 36 points in the preliminary final at the MCG on Saturday.

Click here for full match details and stats

Hardwick said Richmond had learned plenty from their round six loss and were looking forward to putting those lessons into play next Saturday.

"I've been waiting since round six to get this opportunity to come back and play them again. It's funny, you generally learn more from your losses and we learnt a significant amount that night about how we played and how well they played," Hardwick said.

"There's no doubt next week we go in as underdogs, that's the harsh reality of it.

Five things we learned: Richmond v Greater Western Sydney

"They're a fantastic side, they've put everyone to the sword, but we give ourselves a chance. If we play our best, we're capable of beating anyone."

When the Tigers run out next Saturday, they will be playing their first Grand Final in 35 years and looking to end a 37-year premiership drought.

The build-up promises to be high on hype as the success-starved Tigers faithful relish being back where they feel they belong.

Every Tiger rated from the second preliminary final

Rather than hiding his players away from the excitement of Grand Final week, Hardwick will encourage them to embrace it.

"(We'll take) the same approach we've had the whole finals series, you know, embrace it, enjoy it for what it is, you never know when you're coming back," Hardwick said.

"We've had that sort of philosophy the whole way along and when we get to work that's when we work, but outside (of that) have the conversations.

WATCH: Damien Hardwick's full media conference

"It's an exciting time, there's no better place to be than September in Melbourne for these sort of games. We just want our players to enjoy the week, lap it up."

Richmond's VFL team plays in the Grand Final against Port Melbourne on Sunday, giving Tigers such as Sam Lloyd, Oleg Markov and Anthony Miles a final chance to press their claims for senior recalls.

Although the Tigers named an unchanged side for the preliminary final, Hardwick did not rule out a change for the Grand Final.

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"I can't say there won't be a change, but the guys tonight all performed roles, which is really important to us," he said.

"We've got a really good balance at the moment, but in saying that sometimes changes happen.

"We're looking forward to seeing our VFL boys play and perform tomorrow. They've been in incredible form, there's been a lot of guys putting their hands up to play, there's no doubt about that."