There have to be standout performances should a club go on and win the ultimate prize, it takes 22 contributors if not more, but when the whips are cracking it’s the stars that separate the teams.
We take a look at the ten best players from the 2020 Grand Final.
10. Cam Guthrie (Geelong)
Guthrie topped off his career best year with a great display in the biggest game of all, he started terrifically kicking Geelong’s first goal and was everywhere as the Cats stormed to a half-time lead. But when his midfield fell away his supply lessened significantly out on the wing. He faded out of the game but it was through very little fault of his own.
Bolton was good without being great, but that was the beauty of his game. Usually one for the flashy and mercurial, on Saturday night Bolton did the simple and he did it well. His contest to set up the first goal of the game for Dion Prestia was huge and helped set the tone for his game going forward.
8. Dion Prestia (Richmond)
Prestia kicked the first goal of the game which is always a nice treat, but his game went far beyond that. It even went to a second goal, at the start of the last term which put a dagger in the heart of the Cats. Prestia was brilliant around the ball and proved damaging when he had ball in hand.
7. Tom Stewart (Geelong)
When Geelong were under the pump they offered little to no resistance, the only resistance that seemed to be there was Tom Stewart. He attempted to foil anything in his area and did so with mainly success, but there was no stopping the Tiger train when it was rolling. He was good though.
6. Toby Nankervis (Richmond)
He was instrumental in their preliminary final win and he proved to be huge again, when Nick Vlastuin went down it sent the Tigers defence into chaos. The Cats were having a easy time of it until ‘Big Nank’ went back and made it near impossible to avoid him. He crunched packs and made life difficult for Hawkins and Dangerfield.
5. Shane Edwards (Richmond)
Edwards missed most of the season, let that sink in. He has returned for finals and not missed a beat, he’s arguably been as good as he’s ever been. His skill and touch were on show as well as his as always excellent decision making, he was a critical part of the Tigers puzzle they missed all season.
4. Nathan Broad (Richmond)
May well have saved his best game for his last in a Richmond jumper, he may not be there next year but his performance will long live in the memory of Tigers fans. another man who stepped up in the absence of Vlastuin and helped the Tigers steady after a shaky first half.
3. Jayden Short (Richmond)
The booming right boot of Jayden Short has become one of the Tigers’ best assets, his run and dash as well as his decision making stood tall when the pressure was on. He defended brilliantly and when the Tigers won the ball back he was off and running. His two-way work was unparalleled on the night.
2. Mitch Duncan (Geelong)
He was outstanding, had one hand on the norm smith at half time. Duncan was everywhere in the first half, he went to the contest and got the ball moving his teams way and when the game opened up it was Duncan who began cutting Richmond to pieces by foot.
His goal oozed class, however when the Cats stopped winning the ball the outside ball supply dried up. Duncan still ended up with 30 disposals but his influence wasn’t what it was in the first half.
1. Dustin Martin (Richmond)
Hard to argue with the Norm Smith judges on this one, 4 goals, all of which mattered. His first goal kept them in the hunt going into half time as he grabbed the ball and guided it to his foot one-handed and in one motion. His second made him look untouchable, the third showed terrific goal sense and the last was just plane silly.
He rises to a level like we’ve never seen in finals and made a case as to why some see him as the games best ever finals performer. He was different!