RICHMOND has sent an ominous warning to its premiership rivals with an imposing 47-point victory against Brisbane to advance to a third straight preliminary final.
Superstar Dustin Martin was outstanding in Saturday night's qualifying final, booting six goals in the 18.4 (112) to 8.17 (65) win in front of a record AFL crowd of 37,478 at a sold-out Gabba.
The Tigers will face the winner of next week's semi-final between Geelong and West Coast for the right to play in the Grand Final.
The Lions – this season's fairytale story - must re-group to ensure their first finals campaign in a decade doesn't end in a straight-sets exit at the hands of Greater Western Sydney next weekend.
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The winner will face Collingwood in the other preliminary final at the MCG.
The battle-hardened Tigers, featuring 17 survivors from the 2017 premiership-winning side, were challenged early before finding another gear, kicking nine straight goals in the second and third quarters to put the inexperienced Lions to the sword.
Martin was simply brilliant playing as a key forward.
It didn't matter who his opponent was, whether it was Daniel Rich, Marcus Adams or veteran Luke Hodge, Martin had the strength, smarts and skill to do damage on the scoreboard.
Defender Dylan Grimes set the tone for the Tigers' 14th straight win over the Lions with a dominant performance on his All Australian teammate Charlie Cameron.
For the second game in a row, Grimes got the upper hand on Cameron, restricting the mercurial forward to one goal while also dropping into space with crucial intercept marks.
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Midfielder Shane Edwards was enormous for the Tigers, especially after quarter-time when the Tigers made their decisive push.
Fellow onballer Dion Prestia also got through a mountain of work at the coalface.
Hodge showed all of his vast finals experience, the four-time premiership winner playing with poise and precision as one of the leading lights in a beaten side.
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Brownlow Medal contender Lachie Neale was his usual busy self, finding lots of the ball while also chipping in with two goals.
But the Lions were ultimately outclassed by a more polished side that is going to be extremely tough to beat.
A rotten night for the Lions was completed when winger Mitch Robinson sustained a hamstring injury in the last quarter.
The Lions had all the momentum in the first quarter, but only had a 12-point lead to show despite having 23 inside 50s to six.
The Tigers made them pay for their inaccuracy in the second term as they rattled off four straight goals to lead by 11 points at half-time, 7.3 (45) to 4.10 (34).
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It was a procession from there as they kicked the first five majors of the third quarter to stretch the lead to a match-winning 42 points.
Hugh McCluggage's goal at the 21st minute of the third term was their first since the 28th minute of the opening quarter, but by then, the floodgates were well and truly opened.
BRISBANE 4.6 4.10 6.14 8.17 (65)
RICHMOND 3.0 7.3 14.4 18.4 (112)
Brisbane: Neale 2, Christensen 2, Cameron, McStay, Rayner, McCluggage
Richmond: Martin 6, Riewoldt 3, Rioli 2, Lynch 2, Caddy 2, Edwards, Bolton, Castagna
Brisbane: Hodge, Zorko, Neale, Robinson, Gardiner
Richmond: Martin, Edwards, Grimes, Prestia, Cotchin, Rioli
Brisbane: Robinson (hamstring)
Umpires: Donlon, Nicholls, Fleer
Official crowd: 37,478 at the Gabba