It has taken until the back half of October, but we finally have two teams locked in for the 2020 AFL Grand Final. Let’s take a look back at the major talking points from the penultimate week of the season.
Two Victorian powerhouses to meet at the Gabba
Damian Hardwick’s Tigers were slight underdogs to dethrone Port Adelaide, but the reigning premiers showed exactly why they are still the team to beat.
An even more surprising result occurred at the Gabba as the Brisbane Lions hardly fired a shot at Geelong, who ran away with a 40-point victory in enemy territory.
Even though this will be the first VFL/AFL Grand Final held outside of Victoria, it’ll also be the first since 2011 to feature two Victorian clubs.
Amazing Martin seals the deal for Richmond
A tight contest at Adelaide Oval made for a terrific preliminary final between the Power and Tigers that went down to the wire in the last quarter.
The wet conditions turned the game into a slugfest where the cleanest and toughest players stood out, and it was Dustin Martin who stepped up when his team needed him most.
Dusty had the most touches for Richmond with 21 and kicked two critical goals, ultimately securing the win for the Tigers against the underwhelming Port Adelaide.
Basic tactical errors cost the Power, as Ken Hinkley’s men over-handballed in traffic and were beaten at the stoppages.
Does Geelong have more to give?
Chris Scott and the Cats implemented a strong strategy to beat the Lions, but we never expected the final margin to hit the 40-point mark.
Controlling the footy on every possession allowed the Cats to deprive the Lions of disposals, leading to more mistakes and rushed plays when they finally got the ball.
Despite the big margin, the Cats were not even at their best, and a return of 11.16 suggests they still have some issues in front of goal to figure out.
Geelong won almost every statistical count, losing only in contested marks and free kicks, as the club proved its immaculate display against the Magpies was no fluke.
If the Cats can kick straight on the night, it might take something special from Richmond to match them.
Did Brisbane miss the perfect opportunity?
There are two sides to every coin, and in this case the Brisbane Lions blew as good a chance to reach the AFL Grand Final as they will ever get.
The MCG has been locked in to host the decider for the next 40 years, meaning this one opportunity at the Gabba was golden for Queensland’s top club.
They came close, but missing out on the big dance could prove costly from a financial and membership standpoint.
Queensland footy is growing at a healthy rate, but the Lions playing in the AFL Grand Final in Brisbane could have given the club and the region a huge boost in an otherwise difficult year.
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