And then there were two.
After six gruelling months where 18 AFL clubs fought to outplay their competition, we have finally arrived at the destination where the path of the AFL season inevitably leads; the Grand Final.
To add to the storyline of this landmark occasion, the two teams who survived the gauntlet that is the season and reached the Grand Final, are two who haven’t been a part of the premiership-deciding game in a long time.
In the case of the Adelaide Crows, it has been 19 years. In 1998, the Crows won their second premiership in as many years.
For Richmond, the wait has been a lot more arduous. They have not been in the Grand Final since 1982 and have not been called the Premiers since 1980. Fortunately for both clubs, those are numbers of the past, and now the Crows and the Tigers can look ahead to Saturday afternoon.
Both teams have gone undefeated in this finals series and have shown no signs of slowing down as they steamrolled over their respective opponents in the preliminary finals.
However, if we consider the games that have taken place this season, things do not look promising for Tigers. The only time Richmond and Adelaide met in 2017 was in Round 6, where the Crows came out 76-point victors.
Not to put too much emphasis on a game that happened over 3 months ago, but the Adelaide Crows made a joke out of one of the AFL’s best defences.
Taylor Walker kicked five goals and was helped by Tom Lynch and Rory Sloane, who both kicked three.
It’s hard to say that since then the Tigers haven’t come together defensively, and going into the final game of the season, they are definitely in form on that side of the field.
Also, the Tigers are not missing any key players due to injury or suspension. Skipper Trent Cotchin was let off the hook by the Match Review Panel after recklessly injuring Dylan Shiel in his side’s preliminary final against Greater Western Sydney last week.
For the Crows however, they are missing young forward Mitch McGovern due to a hamstring injury which forced him to miss the preliminary final. The 22-year-old was a bright spot for the Adelaide Crows up forward all season.
Aside from the McGovern injury, the Adelaide Crows look to be in unbeatable form and it seems they’ve peaked at exactly the right time.
The Tigers are riding a wave of momentum, just as the Western Bulldogs were last season, but with the Crows clicking so well and firing on all cylinders, it would be hard to bet against them.
Whatever happens, you can be certain it’s going to be an entertaining game of footy as the two sides clash.
Prediction: Adelaide Crows by 28 points
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