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Five things we learned from Richmond v GWS

Adam Curley  September 23, 2017 7:40 PM

Highlights: Richmond v GWS The Tigers and Giants clash in the 2nd preliminary final

1. The Tiger army didn't disappoint
The hysteria surrounding Richmond's advantage in the supporter stakes raged to historic levels during the week and they certainly brought the noise to the MCG. The Giants were greeted with thunderous boos as they entered the arena, but the Tiger fans didn't find full voice until the yellow and black emerged form beneath the stands. Kane Lambert's goal 23 seconds into the preliminary final just about brought down the Great Southern Stand, and the atmosphere never dropped away, apart from the silence that followed each GWS goal. They had some nervous moments in the first half but went into full party mode when Richmond seized control of the match with six goals to one in the premiership term. Rest and recovery will be just as important for the fans this week as it will be for their heroes. The post-match scenes were stunning.

Full match coverage and stats

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2. Rioli destined to be a September star
Two of his relatives have Norm Smith Medals in the cupboard, with uncle Maurice (1982) and cousin Cyril (2015) excelling on Grand Final day, and the way Daniel torched the Giants, he wouldn't be a silly bet to join them next week. The 20-year-old booted two goals in the first half and added two more when the Tigers kicked away to a match-winning 31-point lead at three-quarter-time, mixing up his work with goals from a set shot, a cool finish on the run, and two trademark snaps around the body. Just as Cyril has built his own reputation on doing plenty of work in both the offensive and defensive sides of the game, Rioli added six tackles to make his contribution even more valuable to the rampaging Tigers.

3. Cotchin is in for a nervous couple of days
Richmond captain Trent Cotchin led his team brilliantly with his attack on the footy but an incident in the opening quarter could see him heavily scrutinised by the Match Review Panel. With the ball caught in between he and GWS star Dylan Shiel, Cotchin threw himself at the contest and in the process made contact with Shiel's head, which left the Giant stunned. Shiel kept playing momentarily but the worrying thing for Cotchin is that the 2017 All Australian was later ruled out of the game with concussion. Given the MRP's stance on head high contact, the skipper's availability for next week's decider has to be in question.

4. Deledio's 250th game was a nightmare
He was once a fan favourite in his 243 games for Richmond but there was no love for Brett Deledio in his milestone match, and first game against his old side. The 30-year-old started across half back but struggled to have any influence in the match, aside from a couple of strong tackles to thwart the Tigers before half-time. Deledio finished the game playing as a forward but gathered just 11 touches, with the former Richmond club champion forced to look on as his mates won through to the Grand Final he was craving when he left for the Giants at the end of last season.

GALLERY: All the best pics from the prelim

5. Tomlinson move a masterstroke
Leading up to the match there was plenty of speculation surrounding Adam Tomlinson's place in the side given Richmond's lack of tall forwards, but Leon Cameron stuck with his key defender and played him as a wingman. One of the Giants' best athletes, Tomlinson used his running power to work tirelessly up and down the ground and rack up 15 first-half disposals. Like a lot of his teammates Tomlinson's output dropped away after the main break, but he still finished with 26 possessions and five tackles to be one of his team's best.

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