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Rioli shines on September stage

Rioli's finals form Highlights of Daniel Rioli's past finals.

Rising Richmond star small forward Daniel Rioli’s top-class display in last Thursday night’s qualifying final victory over Hawthorn has prompted Tigers great Matthew Richardson to label him an emerging September specialist.

Rioli applied his trademark strong defensive pressure in Richmond’s front half and finished off his impressive work with three valuable goals.

The young gun produced a superb four-goal performance in last year’s preliminary final win against Greater Western Sydney, and was a key member of the Tigers’ 2017 premiership team.

His start to this season was significantly delayed because of a broken foot he suffered late in the 2017 Grand Final, but he’s rapidly gathered momentum since returning to the senior side halfway through the year.

He’s averaged 14.3 disposals, 3.7 tackles, and has kicked 13 goals in his 11 games so far in season 2018.

“He’s just built his year beautifully,” Richardson said on this week’s edition of Richmond’s official podcast ‘Talking Tigers’.

“Watching that game the other night (v Hawthorn), particularly in that third quarter when we just had repeat entries and pressure, the way that Daniel plays, it really suits finals football . . . it’s just tailor-made for him.

“The higher the intensity in the game, the better he is.

“The (team’s) game plan suits his strengths, the intensity of finals suits him, and he just seems to be able to go up a notch in big games.”