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Match report: Tigers flatten GWS, destiny awaits

Highlights: Richmond v GWS The Tigers and Giants clash in the 2nd preliminary final
Daniel Rioli celebrates one of his four goals in another famous Richmond win - AFL,Richmond Tigers,GWS Giants
Daniel Rioli celebrates one of his four goals in another famous Richmond win

RICHMOND is into its first Grand Final in 35 years after overrunning Greater Western Sydney with a 10-goal-to-four second half, to seal a 36-point triumph that sparked nearly all of the 94,258 at the MCG into a frenzy that is sure to last for at least another week and, possibly, all summer.

After leading by just one point at half-time on Saturday, the Tigers turned the game on its head in the third term, with a six-goal-to-one burst that put them 31 points up at three-quarter-time.

Full match coverage and stats

And when Dustin Martin goaled little more than a minute into the final term – his third consecutive major – the game was effectively over, with Richmond then able to cruise to a 15.13 (103) to 9.13 (67) win. 

Martin (20 possessions and three goals) capped his stellar season with another star turn and next week will turn his attention to helping the Tigers break a 37-year premiership drought when they take on Adelaide in the Grand Final.  

GALLERY: All the best pics from the Tigers' famous win

Daniel Rioli also starred with four goals, while Trent Cotchin was as influential as any Tiger on the ground, leading his team in possessions (26), clearances (seven) and tackles (nine).

The Tigers could, however, face the massive blow of going into the decider without their skipper after Cotchin laid a bump on Dylan Shiel that is almost certain to attract the attention of the Match Review Panel.

Five things we learned: Richmond v GWS

Cotchin bumped Shiel 10 minutes into the first quarter as the Giant was bending down to gather the ball. The Richmond captain was also contesting the ball, but went low and caught Shiel on the chin with his shoulder.

Shiel played out the remainder of the first quarter, but suffered a delayed concussion at the first break and was ruled out of the game midway through the second quarter.

Even if Cotchin escapes with a fine, he would be ruled out of the Grand Final given he has already incurred two fines for low-level striking offences this season. 

The MCG crowd was one of the most one-sided in memory, with only orange visible often the high-vis vests of the ground's security officers.

Loud and proud all game – as only Richmond crowds can be – its roar grew and grew in intensity as the Tigers took control in the second half, with its vociferous support seeming to energise Damien Hardwick's men. 

SHOWREEL: Tenacious Tigers' terrific tackling

Alex Rance (16 possessions, seven marks and five rebound 50s) controlled the air inside the Giants' forward 50, while fellow key defender David Astbury took on the big job of minding Jonathon Patton and held him to one last-quarter goal.

Dion Prestia (22 possessions and six tackles) and Kane Lambert (23 possessions and seven inside 50s) were also standouts in a Tiger midfield brigade that ran the Giants off their feet.

Every Tiger rated from the second preliminary final

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick felt his team got on top in the third quarter after it to restricted some of GWS's outside run and improved its own delivery inside 50.

"I was just rapt for the players, they've put in a power of work and to see them lift the intensity in that third quarter and then continue with the assault in the last, it was really pleasing," Hardwick said.

"Trent and his leaders stood up and took charge of the game and it was a really good result for our footy club.

"I thought we started to get better contest method around the ball (in the third quarter). GWS are very good inside the contest, they were probably beating us outside and that was probably a disappointing fact that we looked to adjust at half-time. Our guys did that a lot better. 

"Our ball use inside 50 certainly improved in the second half and we were able to get some of those easy goals that we were trying to create. That probably happens when the pressure of the game starts to die away a little bit."

The Giants fell at the penultimate hurdle for the second consecutive year, but this loss was decided a lot earlier than last year's devastating six-point defeat by the Western Bulldogs. 

GWS coach Leon Cameron thought the Giants controlled the opening to the game but didn't convert that control on to the scoreboard.

"The first quarter and a half we definitely had it on our terms, we just needed to capitalise a bit more," Cameron said.

"We wasted some opportunities and bombed the ball forward when we should have used the ball better, and put a bit more scoreboard pressure on. 

"Then we were hanging on for dear life halfway through the third quarter and they opened it up, and in the end they deserved to win."

Every Giant rated from the second preliminary final

Co-captain Callan Ward (25 possessions and three goals) led the way for this team, while his counterpart Phil Davis played his part, holding Richmond spearhead Jack Riewoldt to one late goal. 

Harrison Himmelberg (four goals) provided a strong target in attack, while Jacob Hopper (28 possessions and five clearances), Josh Kelly (28 possesions and eight tackles) and Tom Scully (25 possessions and six inside 50s) provided some resistance in the midfield, and Adam Tomlinson (26 possessions) tried to generate some run from defence.

Richmond: Key defender David Astbury (right shoulder) and Kane Lambert (foot) went into the rooms at quarter-time for assessment, but both returned to the field early in the second quarter. 

Greater Western Sydney: Dylan Shiel suffered a delayed concussion at quarter-time after being bumped by Trent Cotchin earlier in the term. After being assessed at quarter-time, Shiel was ruled out of the game midway through the second quarter.

RICHMOND                                 4.3    5.7    11.11    15.13 (103)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY     3.3    5.6    6.10       9.13 (67)

Richmond: Rioli 4, Martin 3, Butler 2, Lambert, Caddy, Castagna, Townsend, Edwards, Riewoldt
Greater Western Sydney: Himmelberg 4, Ward 3, Kelly, Patton 

Richmond: Cotchin, Rioli, Martin, Grimes, Rance, Lambert, Prestia
Greater Western Sydney: Ward, Kelly, Tomlinson, Scully, Davis, Himmelberg 

Richmond: Nil
Greater Western Sydney: Dylan Shiel (concussion) 

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Nicholls, Meredith, Ryan

Official crowd: 94,258 at the MCG