RICHMOND is one game away from joining the modern AFL greats.
The Tigers roared their way to the 2017 flag and clawed their way back to the top of the mountain again in 2019. Now, they are on the cusp of a continuing a dynasty like no other in a season like no other.
POWER v TIGERS Full match coverage and stats
In a gruelling, taxing and absorbing preliminary final on Friday night, Richmond gave itself that chance with a thrilling six-point victory over Port Adelaide.
Remarkably, the margin never stretched beyond 11 points in the favour of either side all evening as the Tigers outlasted a gallant Power outfit 6.10 (46) to 6.4 (40) to ensure they will head to the Gabba for the Grand Final in eight days' time.
But while the venue of this season's premiership decider might be different, the yellow and black colours clad by one of its competitors will provide some familiarity. A third flag in four years could now await Damien Hardwick's men.
Perhaps none will be as deserved as this one, though. A campaign littered with complexities and hurdles to overcome found another daunting one on Friday night in the form of a rampant Port Adelaide side on its home deck.
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But Richmond, as it has for years, simply found a way. Dustin Martin (21 disposals, two goals) was again heroic in every facet of the game, while a late rear-guard stand ensured a Grand Final ticket was ultimately booked.
The Tigers held a one-score lead for the final 13 minutes of a pulsating clash, as the Power pushed for that defining kick that could change their fortunes. But a frustrated Ken Hinkley watched on as it never arrived.
Connor Rozee (14 disposals, two goals) had lit the flame for Port Adelaide's early hopes of securing victory, while Xavier Duursma (19 disposals, one goal) battled hard all night. But the hosts fell devastatingly short when it mattered.
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It leaves Richmond one game away from another premiership. But for a vibrant and entertaining young Port Adelaide side, it's hard not to believe there won't be more chances to come.
A clash that had pitted the minor premiers against the reigning premiers was never going to be easy, with the teaming rain that drenched the Adelaide Oval and the subsequent wet conditions adding to the intensity.
The first half started with an edgy and aggressive 12-minute stretch without a goal and ended with a 14-minute spell without a single point. But while the long periods of pressure dried the scoring, it certainly didn't stop the controversy.
Port Adelaide ruckman Peter Ladhams was reported for a strike to the midriff of Noah Balta, before Duursma's passionate arrow celebration led to a heated row with the night's pantomime villain Tom Lynch.
But that's not to say there weren't moments of attacking brilliance littered in between. Martin's superb gather and snap broke the early deadlock, before Rozee's effort from deep inside the pocket ensured the scores were tied at half-time.
But the stark evenness between the two sides wasn't just reflected on the scoreboard, as a gripping and trying contest turned into an anxiety-laden finale as Richmond carried a slender two-point lead into the last change.
Charlie Dixon, well held by Balta all night, came to the fore with a strong mark and a finish from beyond 50m that delivered Port Adelaide the lead. Kane Lambert, with a dribbling goal through a scrum of limbs, provided a quick response.
Another from Lambert, courtesy of a deliberate decision against a scrambling Hamish Hartlett, then seemingly gave the Tigers the momentum. But, again, it was just as rapidly wiped out by Ladhams at the other end.
For 13 breathtaking minutes, both teams battled for the final shot on target that could seal passage to the Grand Final.
Sweetly for Richmond, it repelled any opportunity Port Adelaide had to do just that. A six-point win now gives the Tigers yet another opportunity to taste the game's greatest success.
PORT ADELAIDE 2.3 3.3 4.4 6.4 (40)
RICHMOND 2.1 3.3 4.6 6.10 (46)
Port Adelaide: Rozee 2, Duursma, Lycett, Dixon, Ladhams
Richmond: Martin 2, Lambert 2, Riewoldt, Lynch
Port Adelaide: Rozee, Duursma, Ebert, Gray, Jonas, Wines
Richmond: Martin, Balta, Cotchin, Vlastuin, Graham, McIntosh
Port Adelaide: Ebert (concussion)