As it happened: Richmond's big statement to open finals
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As it happened: Richmond's big statement to open finals

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Good night folks.

Good footy tonight. Not a finals match for the annals, by any means, but at least you saw Dusty's goal!

We'll be back across the weekend for the remaining AFL finals.

A different cat (well, a Tiger) ....

McIntosh more than handy with three goals ...

The details

RICHMOND 2.2 5.7 10.13 13.17 (95)
HAWTHORN
2.3 3.5 5.8 9.10 (64)
Goals: Richmond:
D Rioli 3 K McIntosh 3 J Caddy 2 D Martin D Prestia J Graham J Higgins S Edwards. Hawthorn: J Roughead 3 C Nash I Smith J Impey L Breust L Shiels T Mitchell.
Umpires: Shaun Ryan, Brett Rosebury, Curtis Deboy.
Official Crowd: 91,446 at MCG.

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Quirky stats ...

ANALYSIS

It's actually a little more interesting to talk about Hawthorn. There's a sense that, providing they have a respectable loss next week, that their season is still very much in the plus column. Without jumping too far ahead, that sounds like a strange thing to say about a team with a potential (yes, only potential!) straight sets exit. The almost certain loss of Stratton (hamstring) won't help them. Tonight the Hawks were out-classed and out-harrassed by a superior outfit - by far the best team in the competition. The premiership is not Richmond's yet, of course, but it's hard to remember a team that was so well placed at this stage of a finals series. There's not an opponent they could meet for the rest of the season who they won't have express confidence against. Tonight wasn't a final for the ages (the last quarter was playing out time) but you can only admire what the Tigers did to put themselves in a winning position at 3QT.

DUSTY MAGIC

Just in case you haven't seen it yet ...

The fans came in droves ...

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The Richmond record

Two more wins at the MCG for Richmond - which would make for 24 in a row on the famous turf - and the Tigers will be back-to-back premiers. For the first time in eons. Plainly and simply, they are going to be bloody hard to beat from this point.

The thoughts of Grant ...

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