WHEN traditional footballing rivalries are spoken about, it's safe to say Port Adelaide and Richmond usually doesn't feature.
But the two sides have built up an unlikely history of late, with four of the past five games going down to the wire.
While the pair are sitting a little further down the ladder than in recent years, Thursday night's battle at the MCG shapes to be another blockbuster affair.
Round four, 2021 – Port Adelaide 11.13 (79) def. Richmond 11.11 (77) at Adelaide Oval
Robbie Gray continued to build his reputation as a cool-headed match-winner, kicking the winner with four minutes remaining. Port had taken an 11-point lead into the final term, before the Tigers clawed their way in front. It took some Gray magic to seal the win for the Power. Aliir Aliir earned the three Brownlow votes for his 23 disposals and six marks, while Kane Lambert kicked two goals to go with his 24 touches.
Preliminary final, 2020 – Richmond 6.10 (46) def. Port Adelaide 6.4 (40) at Adelaide Oval
The biggest margin of the match was just two goals, in an absolute armwrestle of a preliminary final. The Tigers kicked 2.4 to Power's 2.0 in the final term to just clinch victory. Lambert was once again vital with two fourth-quarter goals, Toby Nankervis (19 hitouts, 13 touches) almost dragged the Tigers over the line through sheer willpower, while the magic touch of Connor Rozee (14, two goals) was dangerous throughout.
Round 11, 2020 – Port Adelaide 13.15 (93) def. Richmond 11.6 (72) at Adelaide Oval
Don't let the final margin deceive you – this was a closely fought affair. Port Adelaide consolidated its spot at the top of the ladder with the win over the reigning premier. Richmond had been statistically outplayed for the majority of the first three quarters but was grimly hanging onto a one-point lead at the final break. Three quick goals from the Power sealed the victory, having previously held a 26-point advantage in the first term.
Round 18, 2019 – Richmond 15.11 (101) def. Port Adelaide 9.9 (63) at the MCG
The one rare blowout in recent times between the two teams. Richmond jumped out to a three-goal lead at quarter-time and were never headed from there. Dustin Martin polled the three Brownlow votes for his 30 disposals and five clearances, while Tom Rockliff (26 and seven) was a battering ram in the middle for the Power.
Round four, 2019 – Richmond 15.9 (99) def. Port Adelaide 14.8 (92) at Adelaide Oval
Yet another thriller at Adelaide Oval, the 2019 clash was a see-sawing affair. The lead changed four times in the last quarter after the Tigers had taken a two-point advantage into the final term. Port Adelaide held Richmond at arm's length until halfway through the third term, then the battle was on. The Tigers were without Martin, Trent Cotchin, Jack Riewoldt and Alex Rance, which, at the time, was unheard of, with debutant Jack Ross finishing with 25 disposals.