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Every Tiger rated from the preliminary final

Highlights: Richmond v Collingwood The Tigers and Magpies clash in the first preliminary final

David Astbury – 4
Battled a virus late in the week that required hospitalisation for rehydration. Lined up against Mason Cox, who ended up being one of the Pies' best, but it wasn't always Astbury's fault. Had a spell up forward in the fourth and forced Nathan Buckley to shuffle the troops, but looked lethargic and out of sorts, touching the ball 12 times for the night. 

Nathan Broad – 4
Has been quiet in his last three games and the trend continued, although he touched the ball 10 times, the most possessions he's had since round 21. Spent time against Travis Varcoe and Jaidyn Stephenson and had three rebounds as he worked to plug holes in the Tigers' back half.

Josh Caddy – 3
Didn't provide the spark he offered in the first final when he kicked two goals. Went missing early on with just two touches in the opening term, despite spending more time in the midfield than usual. Had five to half-time and ended with 11 in his quietest game for a while.

TIGERS BURNT BY HOT PIES Full match details and stats

Jason Castagna – 2
Didn't fire early, failing to touch the ball in the first quarter. Laid what ordinarily would have been a motivating tackle on Steele Sidebottom seven minutes into the second after the Pies exploded out of the blocks and was involved in Jack Riewoldt's goal to open the third, but didn't do a great deal else. 

Reece Conca – 5
Did a bit of everything, off half-back and through the midfield. Brought good pressure and laid five tackles on his way to 18 touches. Finishes the season somewhat reborn as a player after finally getting a consistent chance to prove his worth at AFL level, but his future at Punt Road remains uncertain with Fremantle circling the West Australian. 

Trent Cotchin – 8
Was the Tigers' leading possession winner at half-time and their main hope at the clearances. Tried his heart out and ended with 25 disposals, 11 contested, and won a whopping 10 clearances, but simply had too much to do on his own. Also won't want to be reminded of the moment he was used as Mason Cox's stepladder for the big Pie's second-term screamer. 

The Tigers skipper was good but it was hard to operate in the Magpies' pressure cooker. Picture: AFL Photos

Shane Edwards - 6
Tried hard in the first half, spending some time in attack. Brought the pressure, dragged teammates into scoring opportunities and drove the ball inside 50, but didn't make a consistent impact. 

Jack Graham – 4
Another quiet final from the usually prolific tackler and handy goal-kicker. Went to Scott Pendlebury for a period but only had eight disposals and also failed to score, however was second in pressure acts for the Tigers. 

Shaun Grigg - 5
Did OK for 15 disposals although didn't really catch the eye. Had four inside 50s and, as usual, spent time on the wing and also in the ruck, although no Tiger was any match for the in-form All Australian Brodie Grundy. 


Dylan Grimes – 7
Had plenty to do in defence given the Pies' bevy of dangerous goal-kickers, the fact Astbury was at half rat-power, and the way the Tigers like to try and leave Alex Rance free whenever possible. Played on a range of players from Brody Mihocek to Travis Varcoe to Jordan De Goey and didn't stop trying despite being treated briefly for an issue with his eye in the second quarter. 

Jack Higgins – 6
Playing with taping on the outside of his left knee, the first-year forward tried valiantly to lift the spirits of the team when he marked and goaled with seconds left before half-time. But, it wasn't as important as the straight kick he drove through seven minutes into the fourth that chopped the margin to 21 points. Wearing his heart on his sleeve, was one of the more visibly upset players on the final siren. 

A couple of Jack Higgins goals weren't enough to lift the Tigers. Picture: AFL Photos

Bachar Houli – 6
Got the ball moving off half-back, as he characteristically does, and snuck forward to kick a third-quarter goal to give the Tigers a glimmer of hope. Had 22 touches, four inside 50s and four rebounds but made a few mistakes. 

Kane Lambert – 5
Came off a bit after his impressive return from an ankle injury in the first final. Had 19 disposals but wasn't quite the inside supporting act to Cotchin he was against Hawthorn. Was nursed through training leading into semi-final weekend, but was declared fit this week. 

Dustin Martin – 4
Played in possession of the most talked about knee/leg/corked thigh in the country with late suggestion he was treated right up to the game just to get over the line. Drew Levi Greenwood in the midfield and Jeremy Howe when he went deep, which was often. Played 91 minutes of a possible 120 and simply didn't look himself as he hobbled to 19 disposals without his usual explosiveness and level of intimidation. 

It was far from a fully fit Dustin Martin that took the field on Friday. Picture: AFL Photos

Kamdyn McIntosh – 5
It was a less prolific night for the wingman after he kicked three goals against Hawthorn. Spent time opposed to Steele Sidebottom in the first quarter, but largely played against Tom Phillips in a pretty even fight. Set up Higgins for a late second quarter goal they desperately needed and ended with 15 disposals and four rebounds. 

Toby Nankervis – 3
Started well, notably out-marking Grundy when the Pies were attempting to repel from defence after a point early in the first quarter, but that was where it ended with Grundy having the run of play all over the ground after that. Did win the first clearance of the second half that contributed to Jack Riewoldt's opening goal, but it's fair to say he lowered his colours against the All-Australian big man. 

Dion Prestia – 7
Had 24 touches, second to Cotchin for the Tigers, and won four clearances and laid five tackles. But, also had eight turnovers and didn't move the ball with his usual precision. Applied the pressure when needed and wasn't afraid to get in and under, but wasn't always clean when he needed to be. 

COMMENT It's the flag the Tigers should have won

Alex Rance – 6
Had 20 touches and 10 intercepts, which wasn't really indicative of how he went. Tried a few different things to get going after starting deep against Jordan De Goey; switched opponents and broke off to play loose, but it wasn't the usual sort of Alex Rance game that sets the Tigers up from the last line of defence. It was tough with Astbury under the weather and the Pies possessing a number of midfield winners, and Rance didn't stop trying. 

Jack Riewoldt – 9
In Jack style, gave everything he had when the Tigers lacked in so many areas. Locked in a tough battle with Tyson Goldsack, overcame a slow start to kick three of his five goals in the third quarter when the Tigers desperately needed something to happen. Winded himself in a marking contest before booting his fifth at the start of the fourth and didn't do much after that, but had been their most dangerous marking forward for the best part of the game. 

Jack Riewoldt was clearly the Tigers' best on the night. Picture: AFL Photos

Daniel Rioli – 5
Lit up the MCG early when he streaked through the middle with two possessions to set up Riewoldt's first shot at goal and brought his usual pizzazz to the contest with four inside 50s and plenty of pressure. However, just one of his five tackles was in the attacking arc. Got dragged down by James Aish in the third quarter, which was a boon for the Pies and sent their supporters into a frenzy. Didn't kick a goal for just the fourth time this season.  

Jayden Short – 3
Somewhat worked his way into the game after a quiet start but didn't possess his usual punch off half-back. Had 18 disposals but eight of them were turnovers, which indicated the pressure of the occasion may have gotten to the usually clean defender. Did spot Lambert out on the flank early in the third to instigate the switch and push the Tigers forward, but just didn't have enough of those moments. 

Nick Vlastuin – 6
Tried hard and got involved at both ends of the ground with five rebounds and four score involvements. Had 10 intercept possessions and was relatively clean with his disposal to be one of their more solid contributors.