Victorians can breathe a collective sigh of relief, if they so choose or they could breathe those sighs individually, if such should be their preference, but the reason for that sigh is obvious.
There will be no AFL Grand Final with footy teams based in the hinterlands of SA and NSW.
For purposes of accuracy, it should be noted that one of the Grand Final sides is from SA, but imagine the statewide disgrace if the GWS Giants had beaten the Richmond Tigers and the Grand Final was held at a neutral-ground MCG.
There were 770 fewer fannies in the seat compared to finals week one, when 95,028 showed to see Richmond hand the Cats a qualifying finals defeat, but the Cats of the Toyota 2017 AFL Premiership competition will find themselves down to seven lives, having lost two in this year’s finals, one to the Tigers and another to the Crows.
The Tigers broke the game open in the second half. The established a one goal advantage following the first quarter and played to a draw, basically, in the second. In the third quarter, however, they out kicked the Giants by five majors and one behind. Richmond kicked four to the Giants’ three in the fourth to make the final score Richmond 103 – GWS 67.
Significantly, the Tigers survived the game unscathed and will go into next week’s Grand Final with an intact 22.
Richmond is into its first Grand Final in 35 years (1982 loss to Carlton), and Melbourne is likely a positive place to be in the next week. Should they go on to prevail in the Grand Final, Tigers supporters will be in a state of euphoria that will last the summer long.
The early line, according to Ladbrokes.com.au has the Tigers as 6.5-point underdogs (undertigers?). Throughout the home-and-away season, home ground did not always pan out, but the Crows can expect to be greeted by a sea of orange when they show up to the Tiger Lair for the Grand Final, discounting the few in navy blue, red and gold that might decide to show up incognito for reasons of personal safety.