1. The Giants' decision to play Phil Davis backfired
The co-captain's calf injury was the subject of intense scrutiny in the lead-up to the Grand Final, and less than two hours before the first bounce he was tested on the ground. Davis was passed fit but looked far from it. He lined up on Jack Riewoldt and it was clear from the moment the game started that the Tiger was going to give Davis all sorts of problems, especially on the lead. Riewoldt booted three second term goals as the Tigers kicked five unanswered for the quarter. Davis was far from disgraced and fought hard for the rest of the afternoon, while many of his teammates let themselves down, but he was clearly not the force we've seen over the past few seasons in defence.
2. Richmond's courage in drafting Marlion Pickett was rewarded
Forget the selection of the 27-year-old for his first game in a Grand Final, the Tigers' decision to add Pickett in the mid-season draft was their biggest and best call of the year. Pickett looked right at home on the biggest stage and his start to the second quarter set Richmond alight. The highlight was his burst away from a centre bounce, blind turn, and brilliant pass to Jason Castagna. Unfortunately, the Tiger missed his set shot, but Pickett then had a hand in Dustin Martin's second goal, and his teammates came from everywhere to congratulate him. That moment was trumped when Martin returned the favour in the third quarter, the roar as Pickett put the Tigers 54 points up was deafening. One of the greatest footy stories you'll see.
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3. It'll be a long summer for Jeremy Finlayson
It was a breakout season for the athletic Giant, who had 44 goals heading into the decider, but his last game was a severe disappointment. Finlayson had one free kick against and zero possessions to his name at half-time and didn't get his first until 23 minutes into the third. The 23-year-old will be haunted by his shocker, but Finlayson has plenty of talent, and must not let the game define him. If he needs any extra motivation to ensure he has a massive pre-season, and continues his career trajectory, it should be his poor Grand Final.
4. Two ruckmen are better than one
It's not always the case, but it was on Saturday afternoon. Richmond used Toby Nankervis and Ivan Soldo to tag-team Shane Mumford and the veteran Giant found the going tough with no help. Being able to bring a fresh man off the bench to challenge Mumford forward of centre gave the Tigers almost an extra midfielder, and both Nankervis and Soldo had shots at goal in the third term, with the latter's set shot on the siren putting his team 62 points up. The attention now will turn to Mumford's future.
5. If Brandon Ellis does head north, he leaves on a high
The wingman didn't have a huge impact on Richmond's second premiership in three years, but he's a popular part of the culture the Tigers have built. Ellis looks certain to take up a big-money contract from Gold Coast – money he's not going to get if he stays put – and few would begrudge him if he goes. Ellis racked up 176 games with Richmond and played his role in two flags, so he'll always be a hero to the Punt Road faithful.
|Season||Grand Final||Margin||Norm Smith medallist|
|2019||Richmond 17.12 (114) d Greater Western Sydney 3.7 (25)||89 points||Dustin Martin (Rich)|
|1980||Richmond 23.21 (159) d Collingwood 9.24 (78)||81 points||Kevin Bartlett (Rich)|
|2017||Richmond 16.12 (108) d Adelaide 8.12 (60)||48 points||Dustin Martin (Rich)|
|1974||Richmond 18.20 (128) d North Melbourne 13.9 (87)||41 points||Kevin Sheedy (Rich)*|
|1934||Richmond 19.14 (128) d South Melbourne 12.17 (89)||39 points||-|
|1969||Richmond 12.13 (85) d Carlton 8.12 (60)||25 points||Michael Green (Rich)*|
|1973||Richmond 16.20 (106) d Carlton 12.14 (86)||20 points||Kevin Bartlett (Rich)*|
|1920||Richmond 7.10 (52) d Collingwood 5.5 (35)||17 points||-|
|1932||Richmond 13.14 (92) d Carlton 12.11 (83)||9 points||-|
|1967||Richmond 16.18 (114) d Geelong 15.15 (105)||9 points||Bill Goggin (Geel)*|
|1943||Richmond 12.14 (86) d Essendon 11.15 (81)||5 points||-|
|1921||Richmond 5.6 (36) d Carlton 4.8 (32)||4 points||-|
*Voted best and fairest before the Norm Smith Medal was presented from 1979
6. Gold Coast coach Stewart Dew wouldn't have loved watching the Tigers win
It would have been a stomach-churner for the Suns boss, as ex-Gold Coast stars Tom Lynch, Dion Prestia and Josh Caddy helped the Tigers to a flag. Prestia dominated the opening term with 11 disposals and finished with 22 and four clearances for the day, while Lynch (two goals and six inside 50s) was a constant target, and Caddy (19 touches and six tackles) was also effective. All three players were high draft picks that walked out on Gold Coast, and the trio would make a massive difference to Dew's list.
Tom Lynch earned a premiership medal in his first year as a Tiger. Picture: AFL Photos
7. The Norm Smith judges had to earn their money
During most Grand Finals, best-on-ground contenders start to thin out as the match goes on, but this year, the options just kept emerging. The usual suspects were there in Dustin Martin, Bachar Houli, Dion Prestia and Nick Vlastuin, while Jack Riewoldt pressed his claims with a big second term. Then there was the smooth-moving Marlion Pickett. Midway through the final quarter Martin probably had his nose in front, but as many as five or six Tigers could have been given the votes.
DUSTY'S DOUBLE Martin joins an elite Norm Smith group
8. Heath Shaw has another year left in him
The veteran Giant would have called it quits if his team had claimed a historic premiership, but his performance in a badly beaten team showed that he could play on next season. Shaw will weigh up his future after discussions with coach Leon Cameron in the next month or so, but after having 29 possessions and 14 marks in the Grand Final, the 33-year-old deserves another deal. He's lost none of his speed and is still the Giants' best option as a deep small defender, plus his experience is vital at the young club.
Heath Shaw still has plenty to offer the Giants. Picutre: AFL Photos
9. GWS didn't handle the heat of Grand Final day
The Giants had some early jitters but managed to settle themselves and had a one-point lead just before the first change, before they capitulated badly. It started with two soft goals before quarter-time which handed Richmond back the momentum of the game. The Giants allowed the Tigers to pile on nine more consecutive majors for 11 in total, until Jacob Hopper slotted a snap in the third term. Richmond's big stage experience shone, while the Giants looked like they were playing in the club's first ever decider.
10. Winning hides everything
It could have been a day out for Richmond forward Jason Castagna, but the speedster left his goalkicking radar at home. He had plenty of opportunities to hit the scoreboard but managed just 0.5 for the afternoon. It might cost him a couple of fines on Mad Monday when he and his teammates gather to watch a replay of the game, but it won't make his beers taste any worse. He finished with 20 disposals and 10 score involvements, to go with his second premiership.