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Tigers through to Grand Final



Richmond has qualified for it's third Grand Final in four seasons, defeating Port Adelaide by six points in a pulsating preliminary final at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.


In a game that had intensity, big hits and brilliant goals throughout, it was the Tigers who had the answers late as they held on to win 6.10 (46) to 6.4 (40).


In slippery conditions with light rain falling from early in the first quarter, Richmond started the better with goals from premiership stars Dustin Martin and Jack Riewoldt.


Port young guns Connor Rozee and Xavier Duursma responded, the latter shaking off a bruising hit earlier in the opening stanza to slot a tight boundary line set shot.


The heavens opened in the second term making goal scoring difficult, just one goal apiece for the term seeing scores level at the major break with both teams refusing to give an inch.


Tom Lynch put the boos of the locals to one side when he converted his set shot after a towering mark inside 50 in the third term, before big man Scott Lycett slammed one home from 50 metres to stymie Richmond's momentum.


The Tigers led by two points with a quarter to play, big man Charlie Dixon taking a big contested mark with an even better finish from 50 metres out to put the home side in front early in the last.


Kane Lambert then broke Port Adelaide hearts with back to back goals to give his team a decisive advantage, soccering off the ground for his first before converting a boundary line snap after a deliberate out of bounds decision went against Port Adelaide and Hamish Hartlett.


Peter Ladhams won a free kick and slotted a goal to bring the margin back under a kick, but it would be the final goal of an absorbing tussle as Richmond's experience told in the dying moments.


Brad Ebert suffered a concussion after bravely going back with the flight to spoil Jack Riewoldt 20 metres out from the Tigers goal, taken from the ground to play no further part in the match.


Richmond ruckman Toby Nankervis was telling in the final term, winning five hitouts to advantage as the Tigers gained a decisive advantage in clearances, the former Swan also taking a pair of contested marks to help his team hang on.


The win means Damien Hardwick's side gets a chance at a third premiership in four seasons next Saturday night at the Gabba in the 2020 AFL Grand Final, with the second preliminary final between Brisbane and Geelong to determine Richmond's opponent.


Ebert announced his retirement post match after another head knock, bringing the curtain down on a 260 game career that began with 76 games at West Coast.


The dynamic Martin was best afield for the winners with 21 disposals and 2 goals, Dion Prestia with 19 disposals and skipper Trent Cotchin 17 in what was his 250th AFL match.


Ollie Wines was a bull at the contest all night for the Power, finishing with a game high 24 disposals, defender Dan Houston with 23 and former captain Travis Boak with 20.


IMAGE: ABC.





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