2020 Toyota AFL Premiership
Grand Final • Richmond v Geelong Cats
81 12.9
Full Time Tigers by 31
50 7.8
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    MATCH PREVIEW

    GRAND FINAL PREVIEW: Tigers v Cats, stats that matter, who wins and why

    It all comes down to this. Who will prevail in the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final?

    Tigers and Cats facing off in historic Gabba Grand Final from 6.30pm AEST. Picture: AFL Photos

    SUMMARY

    For the first time since 2011, two Victorian teams will meet in a Toyota AFL Grand Final. And it proves to be a corker more than 1600km away from the MCG. Two of their generation's best players Dustin Martin (Richmond) and Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong) will go head-to-head, while rival spearheads Tom Lynch and Tom Hawkins will lead their respective attacks. The Tigers are chasing their third premiership in four years in what would rubberstamp one of the most remarkable dynasties in the modern game. At the Cats, champion Gary Ablett is looking to finish his epic 357-game career with a third flag.   

    13:32 Mins
    Published on

    Tigers' speed a 'real threat', will Houli learn from Rich mistake?

    Ross Lyon and Nat Edwards break down what tactics to watch for in the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final

    Published on

    WHERE AND WHEN: Gabba, Saturday October 24, 6.30pm AEST (local), 7.30pm AEDT

    WEATHER: Brisbane is expected to reach a maximum of 28c throughout the day with a 40 per cent chance of rain from late morning.

    HOW MANY WILL BE THERE? Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the crowd has been capped at 30,000. After corporate tickets and members were allotted seats, tickets went on sale to the general public Tuesday and sold out within 20 minutes. 

    TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide

    ENTERTAINMENT (split pre-game and half-time): Rising rock trio DMA'S will headline a contingent of Australian artists that includes Cub Sport, Sheppard, Electric Fields, Wolfmother lead singer Andrew Stockdale and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. 

    WHO WILL PRESENT THE CUP AND MEDALS? World No.1 tennis player and Tigers fan Ash Barty will present the cup to Richmond if successful, while Geelong champion Ian Nankervis is in line to take the honours should the Cats salute. 2004 Norm Smith medallist Byron Pickett will present this year's medal, while dual Adelaide premiership coach Malcolm Blight will hand over the Jock McHale Medal to the winning coach.

    UMPIRES: Matt Stevic (eighth Grand Final), Simon Meredith (sixth), Craig Fleer (first)

    WHAT HAPPENED THIS YEAR?

    Round 17: Richmond 7.15 (57) d Geelong 4.7 (31)
    The Tigers' manic pressure kept the Cats to their lowest score of the season. Emerging youngster Shai Bolton collected three Brownlow Medal votes for his 18 disposals on a night Jack Riewolt kicked four majors. The Cats were without Joel Selwood, Rhys Stanley, Gary Rohan and Gary Ablett, while the Tigers were missing Shane Edwards, Dion Prestia and David Astbury.

    WHAT TO WATCH FOR

    Richmond
    The Tigers' extra emphasis on winning the clearances compared to round 17. Despite winning that night over the Cats, they lost the stoppage count by 16. The Tigers were ranked 17th in the competition for clearance differential (-5.6) during the home and away season but have jumped to become the No.1 team this finals series with an average of +4.7 on their opponents. On the flipside, the Tigers have gone from the best team in scoring from opposition turnovers (45.4 points per game) to the third-worst in finals with 29.7 points per game. 

    Geelong
    Can the Cats avoid being sucked into Richmond's pressure and get the game on their terms? The Cats love to control possession but it's gone to a new level during finals with an average of 76 more disposals per game compared to their opponents. While the Cats recorded 32 more touches than the Tigers in round 17, most were while over-possessing trying to get out of trouble. For example, Mitch Duncan had 83 per cent of his touches in the defensive half compared to his season average of 56. There will also be a strong focus on who takes Dustin Martin. When he's forward expect Jake Kolodjashnij or Tom Stewart to get the job and in the midfield it is likely to be split between Cam Guthrie and Brandan Parfitt.

    02:52 Mins
    Published on

    Grand Final Preview: Richmond v Geelong

    Sportsbet's Nathan Brown and Matthew Richardson preview the blockbuster grand final between the Tigers and Cats at the Gabba

    Published on

    WHAT THE STATS SAY 

    - The Tigers defenders have been on song this finals series. Dylan Grimes has won six of 10 on-on-one contests to be the No.1 ranked player the category, while Nathan Broad, Nick Vlastuin and Jayden Short are yet to lose a one-on-one contest. 

    - The second-best team for turning rebound 50s into forward 50s during the season at 26.4 per cent per exit, the Tigers have been clogged up in the finals, dropping to 13 per cent.

    - Between the two sides, Dustin Martin and Joel Selwood have enjoyed the biggest jump between their home and away season and finals for this year. Martin's Champion Data average player rating has ballooned from 12.6 to 20.1 and Selwood's 8.3 to 13. 

    - Martin is vying to become the first player in history to win the Norm Smith Medal for a third time. The superstar has two medals along with Hawthorn legends Luke Hodge and Gary Ayres, as well as Adelaide champion Andrew McLeod. 

    - The Cats are unbeaten from five matches at the Gabba this season with an average winning margin of 53 points. The Tigers are 2-1, losing their last game at the venue in the qualifying final to Brisbane. 

    - The top-five players for retention of kicks inside forward 50 this finals series belong to the Cats. The Cats have retained 77.8 per cent of Sam Menegola's kicks with Gary Rohan (71.4), Luke Dahlhaus (71.4), Mitch Duncan (70) and Gary Ablett (66.7) the next best.

    - Selwood is aiming to become the club's first four-time premiership player. Selwood and Ablett are the only remaining members from the 2007 flag.

    - Should the Cats win, Ablett (2009-2020) will hold the third longest stint between flags after Drew Banfield (1994-2006) and Doug Wade (1963-1975).

    IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …

    Richmond
    After a quiet 2019 season, Jack Riewoldt exploded in last year's decider with five majors. Can he do it again on Saturday night off a similar form line? Riewoldt has kicked three goals and had just 16 disposals from his three finals to date but will again be an important cog alongside Tom Lynch in attack. 

    Geelong
    Cats superstar Patrick Dangerfield has spoken openly in recent times about not being fulfilled as a player until he wins a premiership. Now at age 30, he gets his chance. Dangerfield starred as a forward in the semi-final win over Collingwood but was quiet by his standards in last week's preliminary final. Don't expect it to last on Saturday night. 

    PREDICTION: Richmond by five points, only splitting the two teams by the round 17 result. 

    MATCH REPORT

    Yellow and black to back: Tigers stun Cats in epic Grand Final comeback

    Richmond defends its premiership in a history-making Grand Final at the Gabba

    The Tigers celebrate winning the 2020 premiership. Picture: AFL Photos

    TWO OUT of three ain't bad, but three out of four is a whole other level. 

    Richmond has claimed back-to-back premierships, and made it three of the last four flags, after coming from behind to beat Geelong by 31 points in the historic first ever Toyota AFL Grand Final at the Gabba. It etched the Tiger dynasty into football history as one of the most dominant sides of this century. 

    TIGERS v CATS Full match coverage and stats

    Dustin Martin, Richmond's inimitable, incredible midfielder, also made history by becoming the first player to win three Norm Smith Medals as the best on ground in the 12.9 (81) to 7.8 (50) win by booting four goals from 21 disposals.

    04:18 Mins
    Published on

    Dusty writes history with astounding third Norm

    Dustin Martin could just be the greatest finals player we've ever seen after this absolutely freakish Grand Final performance that won him a third Norm Smith Medal

    Published on

    The under lights Gabba clash had it all: injury carnage, a remarkable recovery, a comeback, two stretchers, pitch invaders, pyrotechnics and an entertainment package that will make the debate for day Grand Finals a harder sell in 2021. 

    UNFORGETTABLE Gabba delivers a night Grand Final to savour

    But mainly it again illustrated the brilliance of Martin and the Tigers, who came from 15 points down at half-time to secure their 13th flag and first consecutive flag since their 1973-4 triumphs. It was their third premiership under coach Damien Hardwick and skipper Trent Cotchin. 

    07:55 Mins
    Published on

    Highlights: Richmond v Geelong

    The Tigers and Cats clash in the 2020 grand final

    Published on

    After more than 110 days on the road living in Queensland after COVID-19's second wave forced the competition to relocate out of Victoria, the Tigers will return with the premiership cup later this week after storming home in the second half. 

    TIGERS PLAYER RATINGS No passengers on the Tiger train

    Gary Ablett's farewell did not go as hoped, with the champion Cat injuring his shoulder in the opening minutes immediately after Tigers defender Nick Vlastuin was concussed in a wild piece of play

    00:38 Mins
    Published on

    Footy world in shock as Ablett and Tiger helped off

    An extraordinary and devastating start to the Toyota AFL Grand Final with both Gary Ablett and Nick Vlastuin forced to leave the field early following two heavy collisions

    Published on

    Ablett returned later in the quarter after receiving medical attention in the rooms, but continued to nurse the injury throughout the game, struggling to use his arm for the rest of the night and enduring serious pain throughout. His hope of ending his glittering 357-game career with a third flag was dashed as the Tigers booted nine goals to two in the second half. 

    In a game full by superstars on both sides, it was Richmond's who rose to the occasion. Martin was again exceptional, following his 2017 and 2019 deciders with another standout game. The game's best player proved it with a high-impact game across half-forward, while Patrick Dangerfield, Geelong's own match-winner, was subdued. Geelong Coleman medallist Tom Hawkins kicked one goal from 10 disposals, with Mitch Duncan (25 disposals, one goal) the Cats' best. 

    CATS PLAYER RATINGS Was age a factor as the Cats faded away? 

    There was drama everywhere in the first term. Six minutes into the game it changed: Vlastuin was knocked out by a stray Dangerfield elbow (which will certainly come under Match Review Officer scrutiny) and in the following contest Ablett's shoulder dislocated as he was tackled by Cotchin. 

    THINGS WE LEARNED Tigers skipper writes his name into club folklore

    As Vlastuin was taken by stretcher from the field, Ablett left cradling his arm. The shock left the players and crowd stunned, and after a six-minute break in the game, it resumed to more action, including two fans who ran onto the field that almost got involved in the play. 

    Although the Tigers kicked the first two goals, the Cats settled to take a one-point lead into the first change. Ablett, too, returned to the field – a sight that looked unimaginable minutes earlier after what appeared set to be an anticlimactic end to his phenomenal career. 

    00:24 Mins
    Published on

    The Little Master's stunning tricks can't be missed

    Retiring champion Gary Ablett produces a moment of absolute magic with this exquisite handball

    Published on

    Geelong took that momentum into the second term, dominating Richmond in the pressure stakes and using their strength at the contest to push aside the Tigers. The Tigers, so renowned for their tenacious attack, were being beaten at their own game. 

    The Cats kicked three goals to one in the quarter but should have been further ahead after some straightforward misses. They are sprayed kicks which will linger in the minds of the Cats well beyond the final siren. 

    THE MOMENT With hope dangling by a thread, up stepped a superstar

    Richmond's single goal came via Martin – an astonishing snap while fending off some Cats opponents – with the Tigers struggling in attack. 

    00:23 Mins
    Published on

    Martin mesmerising in a Grand Final yet again

    The Tigers were desperate for a goal and their superstar obliges with a simply superb effort that only Dustin Martin could conjure

    Published on

    Key forward pair Tom Lynch and Jack Riewoldt combined for one kick in the first half as Geelong's defence, led by the insurmountable Tom Stewart and veteran Harry Taylor, controlled proceedings. 

    But Richmond wasn't done. Riewoldt kicked the opening goal of the third term after a free kick, before a Jason Castagna outswinger curled through. Martin's brilliance again rose to the top, with the key Tiger's on-the-run checkside trickling through to give Richmond a two-point edge by three-quarter time.

    TIGERS PLAYER RATINGS No passengers on the Tiger train

    The Tigers powered home in the final quarter, kicking five goals to one to end up comfortable premiers. The final goal came, of course, via Martin in the last two minutes, who shrugged off a tackle from Dangerfield pinned up against the boundary line and snapped an amazing goal. In doing so, the Tigers’ tattooed champion confirmed his status as perhaps the best big-game player in football history. 

    RICHMOND     2.1     3.2     7.4     12.9     (81)
    GEELONG        2.2     5.5     6.8     7.8     (50)

    GOALS
    Richmond:
    Martin 4, Prestia 2, Riewoldt 2, Castagna, Lambert, Lynch, McIntosh
    Geelong: Menegola 2, Dangerfield, Duncan, Guthrie, Hawkins, Miers

    BEST
    Richmond:
    Martin, Short, Edwards, Prestia, Cotchin, Bolton
    Geelong: Duncan, Stewart, Selwood, Menegola, Dahlhaus

    INJURIES
    Richmond:
    Vlastuin (concussion), Houli (calf)
    Geelong: Ablett (shoulder), Simpson (concussion)

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