In Friday night's Five things we learned, brought to you by Haier, the world's No.1 appliance maker, we discover that it's not just Dusty and Lynch who can win big matches for the Tigers, and a Port veteran might be too courageous for his own good.
POWER v TIGERS Full match coverage and stats
Kane Lambert loves the big moments
Forget Dustin Martin, Tom Lynch and Jack Riewoldt. Lambert, the former rookie who was overlooked in five national drafts, bobbed up for three massive moments in the final term. The 28-year-old worked through traffic to kick a goal after six minutes, before snapping to perfection from a deliberate out of bounds free kick deep in the forward pocket five minutes later. His majors were the Tigers' only two of the quarter. Then with the Power pushing for victory, Lambert won a crucial clearance with less than 30 seconds left to put the game beyond doubt.
Power veteran's courage shines through until the end
Even if Port Adelaide had made the Grand Final, midfielder Brad Ebert would have been unlikely to play after another concussion scare. Ebert ran back with the flight of the ball in a frantic final term to deny Tiger Jack Riewoldt a certain mark in attack. However, upon landing, he hit his head on the Adelaide Oval turf and staggered into the hands of Power trainers. An emotional Ebert embraced his teammates as they left the field and led the defeated Port side into the rooms. Already without a contract for 2021 and after a history of concussion incidents, coach Ken Hinkley confirmed that Ebert's brave spoil was the final on-field moment of his 260-game career.
The Tigers prove they can win a different way
During the home and away season, Richmond was ranked 17th in the competition for clearance differential compared to their opponents. Port Adelaide was No.1. But just a week after winning the clearance battle against St Kilda, the Tigers again dominated that area of the ground in the second half against the Power. The Tigers went 28-9 in clearances in the second half. It also proved a big tick to the Tigers' decision to go with one recognised ruckman in Toby Nankervis (plus assistance from David Astbury) against Power pair Scott Lycett and Peter Ladhams.
The kids weren't overawed on the preliminary final stage
Slamming through a first term goal from close to 50m, Xavier Duursma delivered an arrow, celebrated with teammates and then charged towards Tiger Tom Lynch to respond to a war of words. And it was all in the space of 20 seconds. Along with Connor Rozee (two first half goals), Duursma was involved in almost every key moment in the opening half. And 20-year-old defender Noah Balta – the only Tiger playing without a flag – completely dominated 2020 All-Australian Charlie Dixon forward despite giving up 6cm and 7kg. Dixon managed one goal early in the final term but was held to 10 disposals.
Peter Ladhams will come under Match Review scrutiny
The Power big man was put on report for a swinging arm on Tiger Noah Balta during the first term. Ladhams appeared to collect Balta 'below the belt', and if graded as a hit on the 'groin' region with intentional conduct and low impact, could rule him out for the opening game of 2021. It was a mixed night for Ladhams, who offered little in the first half, but stepped up to kick a crucial goal to give the Power hope in the dying stages.