It’s one of the few problems facing the Tigers, other than working out who might have to go out to allow for so many available premiership players to come back for the finals campaign. They are expected to be the embodiment of strength — seemingly unbreakable — and the one with all the solutions to all the problems. Hardwick also celebrates a milestone this week, the two-time premiership coach drawing level with Richmond and AFL legend Tommy Hafey for the most games as Tiger coach. They're now 'worthless', Convicted murderer who helped foil London Bridge attack with narwhal tusk given prison pardon, NZ travel bubble causes confusion among Sydney Airport arrivals, Wales to go into 'fire break' lockdown to curb rising COVID-19 infections, Police fear 'repercussions' after younger brother of Brothers 4 Life leader shot dead. Neither Richmond nor Geelong were best placed to win their preliminary finals but the gateway to the grannie for qualifying final winners isn’t the sure thing it once was. The glass-half-full view of Brisbane in 2020 is they took another step forward in making the last four. The Cats' typically precise and composed ball movement was stifled by the opposition's manic pressure in what former Geelong captain Cameron Ling described as a "smack-down" on ABC Grandstand. It is now five seasons since the pre-finals bye was introduced and in that time just four of the 10 teams to win a qualifying final have gone on to contest the grand final. Picture: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia. "It owns you being a senior coach … it becomes your lifestyle, it's not a job, it's a state of being," Bolton said. Their composure in big moments was pivotal but they also showcased their versatility and ability to switch gears. Saturday night's match will be the first time since 1967 that the Tigers and Cats have met in a grand final, and only the third time they have played each other in a season decider. It’s something we have learned. With Ablett on the way out, and Dangerfield (who’ll finally play in a grand final) and Joel Selwood nearer the end of their careers than the start, time is of the essence for Geelong. View Premierships 2019 Premiership The Richmond Football Club are the reigning 2019 premiers. Patrick Dangerfield was outstanding against the Magpies and — while less influential against Brisbane — he will take some quelling in his first grand final as he chases one of the few prizes in football to elude him. “It’s my understanding he’ll be available for the first week of the finals at this stage. The Tigers were a poor clearance team during the regular season but it is too simplistic to just accept this is a part of their game they are willing to concede. Perhaps a greater sample size is needed, but on evidence to date the week off prior to the prelim is no longer a godsend. Breakout midfielder Shai Bolton will miss with a corked calf, but he too should be back for the first week of the finals, giving Richmond all but premiership ruckman Ivan Soldo available in the pursuit of back-to-back flags. We have to get those players back in to the side and gelling together to pay some really good footy.”, Meatball in motion #gotiges pic.twitter.com/a9hwJOn8ns. "Just coaching the team is very, very difficult but a lot of it is how good your club is, how much support you give him, how much you help him because if you want the coach to be everything, he's going to go mad," Balme told ABC Grandstand. At this stage, it is unclear whether Shaw will one day return to Arden Street as senior coach or in another capacity. They had been in sparkling form prior, but followed up the defeat with an underwhelming performance against Sydney in round 18 and they were well below their best in a 16-point loss to Port Adelaide in the qualifying final. In the five seasons prior to 2016, nine of the 10 qualifying final victors made it through to the big dance. In a climate of growing concern over player welfare, the mental demands and pressures faced by AFL coaches is comparatively unspoken of. If the team is underperforming, the coach wears the criticism and is ultimately held accountable. But there will be nothing of the sort. The contrary view is not so kind. “We only get one chance of getting it right, so we won’t rush it.”. To do so would elevate Damien Hardwick's side into esteemed company. The common theme for both teams was a telling lack of experience at this stage of the season and defeat by teams with plenty of it. Last year’s straight-sets exit can be, and has been, written off as a learning experience for the Lions. Standing in the way is the gargantuan figure of Richmond. The Tigers did it the hard way on Friday night, in tough conditions, against an opponent that would not lie down. All rights reserved. A NOTE ABOUT RELEVANT ADVERTISING: We collect information about the content (including ads) you use across this site and use it to make both advertising and content more relevant to you on our network and other sites. FOR SALE! Geelong against the Lions in the preliminary final, coach Rhyce Shaw had stepped away from football to deal with personal issues, Brendon Bolton told me the role was all-consuming. Staff member stood down over Sydney airport land scandal, 243 hotel quarantine guests contacted over blood device infection risk, Zookeeper mauled by bears in Chinese wildlife park in front of horrified visitors, Bushfire inquiry will have 'failed' without emissions recommendations, former fire chief warns, Two men high-fived as they recovered what they thought were cocaine bricks from an excavator — then police burst in. Ablett kicked two goals, had a hand in others and made every one of his 14 disposals count. The return of several Richmond premiership stars right in time for the finals could make the Tigers impossible to stop in the run to the AFL Grand Final. This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced. This was not a surprise as Shaw's difficulties had been respectfully kept quiet by the media for weeks and nor was it surprising given the warning signs have been there for some time that the pressures faced by senior coaches are becoming unsustainable. Richmond dismantled Geelong’s modus operandi in round 17 but there is reason to think things will be different on Saturday. - All-up, the Richmond reserves have won nine premierships (1929, 1946, 1954, 1955, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1977 and 1997). A premiership for Geelong will be a fairytale of its own. One of the reasons is Ablett, who demonstrated against Brisbane he does not need 30 touches to impact a game. news.com.au — Australia’s leading news site, AFL trades 2020: Jeremy Cameron leaves GWS, free agency news. "I think there needs to be appreciation of what senior coaching is all about. There will be no fairytale grand final at home for the Lions, no shot at the title for the Power. Mabior Chol will play against the Crows, but Hardwick said he was still “working through” what to do about the ruck situation with Soldo out for 12 months after suffering an ACL injury. North Melbourne has recently taken steps to bolster its coaching ranks with the addition of former premiership player John Blakey and an approach made to former Melbourne and Sydney coach Paul Roos. If Richmond are not already headlong into a dynasty, a third flag in four years will guarantee it and elevate them into the discussion as one of the all-time great teams. NZ travel bubble was only supposed to be with NSW and the NT, so why are Kiwis heading to other states? There are no guarantees in AFL football and the Lions might well have blown their best chance of winning a premiership with this group. We’ve got some players coming back which is really important for us,” Hardwick said on Thursday. The nature of the loss shook the Cats. "They've got 50 players that they treat like sons … on top of that they've got about 15 coaches that they're really invested in and their staff broader, so all of a sudden coaches take on 100 people, let alone their own family and themselves.". We probably are a little bit slow to start and we build up into it. Gary Ablett was superb for Geelong against the Lions in the preliminary final, and how fitting it would be to see him end his glittering career with a third premiership medallion. Chris Fagan’s men were good against Richmond a fortnight ago but they regressed in the pressure cooker of a preliminary final. Russell Gould. Late last year in his first sit-down interview after being sacked as coach of Carlton, Brendon Bolton told me the role was all-consuming. Port can at least find solace in the fact they went down swinging; there is no such comfort in the post-mortem for the acquiescent Lions. On Friday, North Melbourne released the unfortunate news — rather oddly buried deep in a statement to members — that its coach Rhyce Shaw had stepped away from football to deal with personal issues. “We are probably starting to play some pretty good footy at the right end of the season. RICHMOND'S 12 PREMIERSHIPS The Club enjoyed its most successful era in the 1960s and 80s, where it won five flags. Brisbane were meant to win through to the first and likely last AFL grand final to be played at the Gabba. Mick Malthouse, who coached a record 718 AFL/VFL matches, offered a clear insight into the emotional impact of coaching a few years back when he told me that long after his decorated career came to an end he woke up one morning and realised he had slept through the night for the first time in 30 years. In 1967, Richmond — coached by the legendary Tom Hafey — won a thrilling clash by nine points in front of 109,000 spectators at the MCG. The margin was 40 points but it should have been greater. Last modified on Mon 19 Oct 2020 04.06 BST. What does a 2020 Joe Biden rally look and sound like? Ablett has been a champion player, the best I've witnessed. Josh Caddy and Nathan Broad are also in the wins, awaiting their chance. PREMIERSHIPS POSTER - RICHMOND TIGERS A2 … It's not just the game plan and working with players — it's far broader. Undoubtedly they would have won more had Ablett stayed, but he is back where it all began and will have a key role to play in his final act. AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), Richmond earns shot at history after thrilling preliminary final win over Port Adelaide, Geelong through to AFL grand final after convincing win over Brisbane, North Melbourne AFL coach Rhyce Shaw taking break from football, Canberra's Jack Wighton claims NRL's Dally M Medal hours after online blunder reveals winner, Jeremy Cameron tells 'disappointed' GWS Giants he wants to leave the club, The small man from a smaller town who won the AFL's biggest award, Public tickets for AFL grand final to go on sale for first time in 20 years, Trainer Darren Weir committed to stand trial on charges of animal abuse, conspiracy, 'Big claims that lack credibility': Senator fires back at AOC boss over proposed Beijing Olympic boycott, Auditor-general says Leppington Triangle deal is first he's ever alerted to AFP, 'He was very violent at home': Wife of dead soldier tells inquest warnings were ignored, Abbott spent $135,000 on medals for knights and dames in 2014.