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Triple-flag star says Tigers capable of dynasty

The Tigers' MCG record is imposing - AFL,Richmond Tigers,Simon Black
The Tigers' MCG record is imposing
There's a bit of a gap between (Richmond) and the rest
Simon Black

GEELONG coach Chris Scott doesn't believe Richmond has an unbeatable aura just yet, but according to his former teammate Simon Black, they are on the right path.

Scott fired a salvo across the Tigers' bow recently when he declared them beatable and suggested they don't have quite the same aura as some AFL juggernauts of yesteryear, and he should know, having been part of the mighty Lions side that swept to three premierships in a row from 2001 to 2003.

But did Leigh Matthews' Brisbane side have the aura of a powerhouse team after one flag? Two? Did it take three grand final wins to establish their reputation as one of the most fearsome units of the modern era?

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Damien Hardwick's men might well be on their way to gaining a similar reputation, with the Tigers grabbing their own slice of history with a record 19 wins in a row at the MCG.

But three-time premiership Lion Simon Black, an unabashed fan of what Richmond have been able to achieve so far, echoed the sentiments of his old premiership teammate Scott.

The 2002 Brownlow Medal winner believes another flag is required for them to reach the pantheon of truly feared and revered great AFL teams.

"To be considered a powerhouse team in my books you've got to win multiple premierships in a short window," Black said.

"Richmond have got all the hallmarks of being able to go ahead and do that again the way that they're playing.

"There's a bit of a gap between them and the rest.

"If they can go back-to-back then they go into that next category.

"Winning grand finals is ultimately the key to being regarded as a powerhouse (historically). Port Adelaide finished on top numerous years and were only able to win the one flag.

"Essendon (premiers in 2000) were the same when we played them at the Gabba in 2001."

History shows Brisbane were able to end the Bombers' tilt at a premiership dynasty when they defeated Kevin Sheedy's men in the 2001 Grand Final, having beaten them in their round-10 encounter.

Simon Black won a Brownlow and a Norm Smith Medal at the Lions. Picture: AFL Photos

Matthews famously fired up his charges with his "if it bleeds, we can kill it' pep talk that year, with Scott's recent comments in a similar vein to those of the master coach.

While he's bullish on Richmond's flag chances, Black is sticking with his pre-season prediction of a maiden Greater Western Sydney grand final appearance and win.

But where the Giants are struggling with injuries, the Tigers, like the three-peat Lions, have enjoyed a relatively good run.

The same premiership line-up of any club has never, in the history of the game, played in another flag.

Richmond won't be the first either, but it will be a matter of selection and not injury.

"You do need a bit of luck with injuries and have your better players playing well," Black said.

"It's critical. If you lose two or three of your best half-a-dozen then you can come back to the field pretty quickly.

"But winning is a habit and losing is a habit and you can clearly see that Richmond have that belief and confidence.

"They're not unbeatable, but they'll be hard to (stop)."