RICHMOND star Daniel Rioli has dedicated his second premiership to cousin Willie Rioli, as the West Coast Eagles forward faces a drugs ban.
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The Tigers goalkicker kicked a goal on quarter-time that turned the game his side's way and celebrated with a tribute to the Eagle, with Rioli putting up four fingers on both hands in reference to Willie's No.44 jumper.
Rioli also had his cousin's No.44 written on the tape on his wrists.
"It's pretty special. I miss him, I love him so much, he's going through some tough times. But he's surrounded by family and I'm pretty sure his eyes were glued to the TV today," Rioli said in the aftermath of Richmond's 89-point drubbing of the Giants.
"I dedicated my game to him today."
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Willie, who starred in the Eagles' flag last year, was withdrawn from the club's semi-final loss to Geelong due to an "adverse analytical finding for urine substitution" for a test in August.
This week, the AFL revealed he had tested positive for a cannabis metabolite in a separate test. He faces a ban of up to four years, with grave fears for his football career.
I put the No.44 on my wrist to remind me of him and when I go out there I just try to perform - Daniel Rioli
Daniel said he hadn't informed his cousin of his likely celebration if he hit the scoreboard.
"I didn't tell him. He's pretty low-key at the moment with the situation that's happening, but I put the No.44 on my wrist to remind me of him and when I go out there I just try to perform," he said.
"I'm out here playing footy and doing what I love and he's doing it tough, so I wanted to do my best for him."
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The 22-year-old's first-quarter goal was the highlight of his afternoon against the Giants, as he finished with 12 disposals and four score assists. It followed his starring role in the club's breakthrough 2017 flag win over Adelaide.
It also continued a remarkable trend, with a member of the famous Rioli football family featuring in six of the past seven flags – Cyril with the Hawks in 2013-2015, Daniel in 2017, Willie in 2018 and Daniel again this season.
"They're a quality opposition, GWS, so the first five or 10 minutes of the first quarter was pretty rough. Then we slowly stuck to our game plan and the process took care of itself after that," he said.
"We all dug deep and wanted to come back with another win. Everyone wrote us off at the start of the year and we wanted to prove everyone wrong.
"We've got so many young boys coming through who are pretty talented. Who knows, hopefully there's many more to come."