THIS weekend would have marked the 16th annual Dreamtime at the 'G clash between Richmond and Essendon.

But plans to continue the tradition have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 shutdown of the game. 

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The clash, which has attracted more than 80,000 fans at the MCG in all bar two of the past nine encounters, is an important date on the AFL calendar in acknowledging the contribution of Indigenous culture to football.

The clash between the Tigers and Bombers was the brainchild of four-time Essendon premiership coach Kevin Sheedy, with Richmond having won nine of the games and the Bombers six.

The marquee clash has also provided plenty of highlights, and we have ranked the most memorable five moments.

5. Jobe's dominant night
In the midst of the start of Essendon's drugs saga, Bombers star Jobe Watson showed he was a level above in the 2013 Dreamtime at the 'G contest. Watson, who had won the Brownlow Medal the previous season (he later gave up the honour after being suspended for anti-doping breaches), was at the peak of his powers, gathering 28 disposals and booting three goals in a dominant display that earned him the three Brownlow votes. Essendon claimed a 29-point win.

Bomber Jobe Watson starred in 2013. Picture: AFL Photos

4. 400 and out
Essendon champion Dustin Fletcher became just the third player in VFL/AFL history to reach the magical 400-game milestone in the 2015 Dreamtime meeting. The 40-year-old defender led the Bombers out onto the ground and tossed the coin, but finished the game on the interchange bench in the dreaded red substitute vest after injuring his groin. The 15-point loss was not the way the brilliant backman would have wanted to celebrate the feat, but he was chaired off at the end of the game and never played for Essendon again as he battled injury for the remainder of the season.

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3. Stack's war cry
Richmond youngster Sydney Stack last year provided the highlight of the clash before the game had even started. The brash Tiger celebrated his first Dreamtime appearance by taking part in the pre-game Indigenous war cry. As part of the Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round, Stack led the powerful dance in the drizzle, crouching before edging closer to Essendon's line-up of players. In just his eighth game, the exciting Richmond talent provided a special moment in the history of Dreamtime clashes.

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Sydney Stack gets involved in the pre-match ceremony

Some nice work by the Indigenous Tiger

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2. Oh no, Richo
Richmond looked set to claim their first victory of the 2007 season when they led by 18 points deep into the final term, before the Bombers booted three quick goals to level the scores. Then controversy hit. As the Tigers were heading forward, star goalkicker Matthew Richardson marked against Essendon defender Mal Michael. He played on and thought he had kicked the match-winning goal, but in the crowd's roar Richardson missed the umpire calling him for placing his hands in Michael's back. As he played on and kicked the ball, not only was the goal disallowed, the Tigers were hit with a 50-metre penalty. The Bombers edged ahead with a couple of behinds, before Matthew Lloyd kicked a goal after the siren to give the Bombers their first Dreamtime victory.

Bomber Mal Michael and Tiger Matthew Richardson in action. Picture: AFL Photos

1. Dean's dream debut
In the first Dreamtime clash in 2006, it was debutant Dean Polo who stole the show. In one of the most memorable first games of the modern era, Polo starred in front of nearly 60,000 fans with 28 disposals and three goals. He was named best afield with the Yiooken Award and was also named the NAB AFL Rising Star for his breakout performance. The Tigers claimed a two-point win that night, with Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls kicking a late point to seal the victory.

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On This Day: Polo's BOG debut in Dreamtime at the 'G, 2006

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