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Tigers have some catching up to do: Gale

Chief executive Brendon Gale says Richmond's recent success is a tribute to the culture and capabilities of staff right across the club.

1:12pm  Sep 21, 2018

Astbury to be given every chance to play

Richmond remains certain defender David Astbury will play in Friday night's preliminary final against Collingwood, despite battling a minor cold this week.

11:51am  Sep 21, 2018

No change for Tigers

Richmond will take an unchanged line-up into Friday night’s preliminary final against Collingwood at the MCG.

6:25pm  Sep 20, 2018

Things you may have missed: Grand Final

Jennifer Phelan, AFL Media  October 8, 2017 8:47 AM

Jack Riewoldt's cameo with The Killers He kicks goals and he duets with one of the biggest rock bands in the world.

The Killers won the game before it had even begun.
After some recent dubious choices for pre-game entertainment, The Killers – led by an aqua-coated Brandon Flowers – burst onto the arena before the game and had social media abuzz with praise. They opened with their 2006 anthem "When You Were Young", closed with catchy hit "Mr. Brightside", and thrilled the crowd with a cover of Midnight Oil's "Forgotten Years" in between. There were calls to award Flowers the Norm Smith for his brilliant performance, which carried onto the premiership party after the game where the band wowed a delirious Richmond-strong crowd. 

Brandon Flowers gets the crowd going. Picture: AFL Photos

And now, they may have a new band member.
As their post-match concert headed into its last song, Flowers and co. were joined by new premiership player Jack Riewoldt, who was dressed exactly as he was when he left the field. Riewoldt jumped up on stage, grabbed a microphone, and to the absolute delight of the crowd, belted out the day's second rendition of "Mr. Brightside" with his premiership medallion glinting in the strobing lights. At the song's end, Riewoldt embraced Flowers and gave the Tiger faithful one last fist-pump before the entire team was introduced player by player, with all of them still clothed in their dandelion yellow clash strip as planned.

Who sung it better? Picture: AFL Photos

The Tigers won the banner game, but the Crows made a better entrance.
Echoing the players' sentiments of, 'Why not us?', the Tigers declared the simple-yet-effective statement, 'Dare to Dream' on their yellow and black crepe-paper creation. Players ran out between the beating drums that feature at their home games, and burst through the banner to … silence. A technical glitch meant the players were at the other end of the ground by the time someone pressed play on the tape deck to start their song. In comparison, the Crows' banner was smaller and featured the message, 'We Are Team First, We Fly As One, Working Together, Let's Get It Done', but their arrival made a bigger impact given it came with bursts of fire from pyrotechnic towers and to the sounds of their song.  

The Crows enter the playing arena. Picture: AFL Photos

Audio issues plagued the anthem, but the Crows won the stare-off. Again.
It wasn't her fault, although she should certainly have words with her stylist about the interesting red creation she was wearing, but Dami Im's performance of the National Anthem won't go down as one of the best. The X-Factor winner sounded great – when you could hear her. The audio, no doubt caused by the same issue that ruined the Tigers' entrance, dropped out twice and the crowd of 100,021 were left to fill in the blanks. The highlight of the pre-game was undoubtedly the Crows' decision to stick with their imposing 'Power Rangers' stance and wait until every last Tiger had run off to their starting positions to break, which was met with hearty approval from the many bays of supporters that had made the trip east. 

The Crows tried to intimidate the Tigers. Picture: AFL Photos

It was the first time for a lot of things …
… including Trent Cotchin and the game's first possession – a free kick from the first centre clearance - Rory Sloane and the opening goal four minutes in, Josh Caddy and the Tigers' first major at the 16-minute mark, and the fact that all 44 players on the field were playing in their maiden Grand Finals. When the final siren blew, there were 22 brand new premiership players and a first-time premiership coach – and, for the first time ever, a player who had won the Brownlow Medal, the Norm Smith and a premiership medallion in the same year, Dustin Martin. 

Early on, things couldn't have been much closer.
In fact, it was incredible that the Crows led by 11 points at the first change. In the opening term, the two teams were locked on 95 disposals each, 56 kicks and 39 handballs, with their disposal efficiency (82 per cent Adelaide to 72 per cent Richmond) the main difference. Incidentally, disposal cleanness was what deserted the Crows after the first change when, for the first time this season, they struggled to cope when the rain set in for a brief period and the Tigers turned up the pressure.

It was a crying game for many when reality set in.
It's been 37 years since the Tigers' last flag, and it became apparent just how much it meant to those associated with the club over that period when they moved out to an unbeatable lead in the fourth quarter. Club CEO and 244-game Tiger Brendon Gale was a sobbing mess in the stands following Dan Butler's banana goal at the 20-minute mark and was comforted by Richmond president Peggy O'Neal, club great and Channel Seven commentator Matthew Richardson was in tears on the sidelines, and an emotional Damien Hardwick burst onto the bench with two minutes left on the clock and was immediately engulfed by Brandon Ellis; one of the players he dubbed "the loves of my life" in his winning speech in the minutes that followed the siren. 

Just 10m separated the ecstasy of victory to the agony of defeat.
At the MCG, the players' rooms are right next to each other, with just the post-match media room in between. As the Tigers raucously toasted to their win with Hawthorn coach and Hardwick mentor Alastair Clarkson – who even stuck his head into Hardwick's press conference to ask when he was coming for a beer - and ex-Richmond player and now-GWS football manager Wayne Campbell making cameo appearances, the Crows were distraught on the other side of the wall. The silence was initially broken only by the innocent sound of Eddie Betts' young sons playing with friends, as the devastated players trickled out of the meeting room to see their loved ones. The fans inside applauded each of them as they emerged, with a shattered but brave Sam Jacobs comforted by his parents and wife after being the first to appear. 

Hardwick continued to show a whole new side to his character.
The Richmond coach has been more revealing than ever this year, saying an epiphany that he had to change because he was no longer the man his wife Danielle married helped him simplify things to turn the team's fortunes around. It's been a fresh insight into the previously stats-driven and intense former Essendon and Port Adelaide defender, who has admitted he faced dismissal from his job if he didn't start listening to other people. He showed his true, likeable character after the game when he also paid tribute to "Mrs. Hardwick" before declaring to "Peggy and the board – we did it", and then to the "Tiger Army – this one's for you".

Farewell to the bounce?
We'll know before the end of the year if we've seen the last of the bounce that starts quarters and resumes play after goals, and ironically, it may leave the game having attracted attention for the wrong reason yet again. Most of the bounces during the game were pretty good, but the one that opened the fourth term was recalled after it sailed back over the umpire's head.