CHAMPS V CONTENDERS: IT DOESN’T GET BETTER THAN THIS
RICHMOND V COLLINGWOOD
Friday September 21 at MCG
The premiers have stormed into another preliminary final and look almost impregnable. But if there’s one juggernaut that can roll over the top of the Tigers it’s the irresistible force that is Collingwood.
While the Tigers had had their feet up last weekend, the Pies put their campaign back on track with a dominant win over GWS, riding home on the back of Adam Treloar’s 12 final-quarter disposals, Steele Sidebottom’s 31 touches and six inside 50s and another outrageous ‘hanger’ by Jeremy Howe.
By the time these two proud clubs take the field in front of a full house at the MCG, Richmond will have played just one game in 21 days – is it a blessing or a curse at this time of the season? Is it better to be nursing niggles or playing every week in the pressure cooker atmosphere of finals?
Which ever camp you are in, there’s no doubt that Collingwood are battle hardened and have players in sensational form for the monumental task of trying to break Richmond’s MCG dominate. Like Jordan de Goey, who took eight marks and booted three goals against GWS in a supreme display. And Jaidyn Stephenson, who ran himself into the ground with 27 sprint efforts according to Telstra Tracker stats. And Taylor Adams and Scott Pendlebury, who cranked up the pressure with 21 tackles between them.
And they’ll need to be at their best to knock off the champions, who have won a remarkable 22 on the trot at the home of footy and were completely dominant against the Hawks in week one of the finals.
The biggest of all big game players, Dustin Martin, had 29 possessions, 10 clearances, five inside 50s and a goal to set the tone for another rollicking September for the Tigers while Trent Cotchin (26 possessions and seven clearances) and Dion Prestia (26 possessions, seven inside 50s and five clearances) controlled the midfield and Dylan Grimes shut down everything Hawthorn threw at him.
Quite simply, this is a game not to be missed. A game for the ages. The reigning champs against a worthy contender. Bring it on!
FFF STARS OF 2018
These are the players from Richmond and Collingwood whose stellar deeds this season earned them a spot in Fit For Footy’s weekly tributes to the leaders who inspire by their deeds and the gut runners who simply never give up the chase.
FIT TO LEAD
Richmond: Jack Riewoldt (rd 21)
Collingwood: Nathan Buckley (rd 22), Brodie Grundy (rd 12), Scott Pendlebury (round 10)
Richmond: Daniel Rioli (rd 22)
Collingwood: Steele Sidebottom (rd 20), Josh Thomas (rd 15), Adam Treloar (rd 5), Brodie Grundy (rd 4)