MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 03: Joel Selwood of the Cats is tackled by Dustin Martin (left) and Josh Caddy of the Tigers during the 2018 AFL round 20 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 03, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

What The F-Arc Review

Tigers defy odds in preliminary final thriller 

The stage was set for a showcase like no other as the reigning premiers travelled to Adelaide Oval to face the minor premiers in Port Adelaide. The game was set for a thrilling contest and it failed to disappoint. 

Both sides went neck-and-neck in the opening half, as it stood to be anyone’s game at the main break. The Power’s young guns were surging after an impressive start, with Connor Rozee and Xavier Duursma on the goal scorers tally early on. 

The Tigers of old soon kicked their way back thanks to two major from Kane Lambert, setting up a nail-biting finish, to which unlikely hero Toby Nankervis stepped up. The Tigers ruckman too two massive grabs late into the game that may have just booked Richmond’s place in a third Grand Final in four years.

Port Adelaide veteran Brad Ebert ended his last career game in match where he put everything on the line, soon going off concussed due to his courageous efforts and being remembered for his devotion to the club.

The Power couldn’t get the job done but there is plenty to be excited about for next year.

Richmond did what they do best and will now look to land the dynasty label. 

Cats crush Lions dreams on road to glory

In an effort perhaps as tough as the night before, the Cats came up against the premiership favourites at their football fortress, The Gabba. 

Geelong impressed early and never looked back, moving to a short lead in the match before stretching the gap come half-time. 

Inaccuracies look to have cost Geelong any early celebrations, booting 4.8 in the opening half while the Lions trailed by just five points from as many goals. 

The usual suspects from both sides were swaying the score in their respective favours before one small, bald, 36-year-old man took over the ‘premiership quarter’. 

Gary Ablett Jr. was as tantalising as he’s ever been, booting two goals in the third term, including a trademark on-the-run roost from outside the arc. The Little Master was not keen on calling it quits just yet.

The jaw-dropping scenes soon had Geelong playing a few levels above the Lions, booting seven second half goals as the Cats forwards ran rampant. 

The Lions couldn’t seem to have an answer in the midfield, with Tom Hawkins and co. soon being handed silver service in the forward 50.

The loss for Brisbane rules out the dream of playing in a Grand Final at The Gabba, with Geelong now just one win away from their first flag in nine years. 

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Lower The Eyes

Richmond vs Geelong

The Grand Final stage is set. The competition has been narrowed down to just two sides after a long, arduous yet intoxicating year that is the 2020 AFL Premiership season.

Richmond and Geelong. You can make a case for several other sides but it doesn’t get better than this. The thought of Patrick Dangerfield on the biggest stage is one of the most stimulating ideas, add the fact he’ll be face-to-face with Dustin Martin and it becomes something much, much greater.

The Tigers have now proven they can get the job done away from Melbourne, knocking off the Power in their penultimate fixture. Damien Hardwick is building a dynasty at Punt Road and now is the time to really earn their stripes.

Richmond have been the best team in the competition for arguably the fourth time in as many years, with their finals record showing why. They’ve dominated in their two Grand Final outings since 2017, but you can sense things wont be so easy this time around. 

In their way is a Geelong outfit as explosive as any. Crafty, clean and calm in their approach with the ball, their midfield depth this season has been one of many reasons why they find themselves in the big dance and will be a major factor in their play for the flag.

The battles within the war are paramount. Hawkins and Lynch at either end, Cotchin and Selwood fighting tooth and nail for their side and Hardwick and Scott puppeteering from the box.

It can be hard to pinpoint a clear weakness in either side, with star names and reliable role players scattered throughout each lineup, but you can be sure of one thing… Saturday’s game will take a 22-man effort to conquer.

We can only hope this season is known for having an asterisk, as it may just be one of the most compelling we’ve ever had.