THE Richmond Tigers have stunned the Adelaide Crows to win the AFL grand final at the MCG by 48 points.
After a tight tussle during the first half, the Tigers turned it on in the second half to overwhelm the Crows.
The win means Richmond are AFL Premiers for the first time in 37 years, with their last flag win recorded in 1980.
Adelaide opened the game strongly, with Rory Sloane and Eddie Betts scoring the first two goals.
Richmond steadied the ship slightly to go into the first break trailing by 11 points.
That gap was reversed in a tight second quarter in which the Crows were left goalless, with Richmond winning 6.4 40 to Adelaide’s 4.7 31 at half time.
The Tigers came out flying in the second half, piling on the misery for the Crows and their supporters.
Adelaide only scored one goal in the third quarter to Richmond’s five – leaving a gap of 34 points at the final break.
The Tigers kicked another five goals in the final quarter and Adelaide had no response.
The final score was 16.12 108 to 8.12 60.
Grand Final Snapshots
THE STORY: Adelaide began cleaner but Richmond simply fought, and fought, and fought. Damien Hardwick’s side smashed their opponents around the ball, were dominant in defence and relentless inside 50. A run of seven-straight goals after quarter-time put the game on the Tigers’ terms
THE GOAL: With clean hands, Shane Edwards dished off to Tigers skipper Trent Cotchin in the second quarter, who found the youngest man on the ground, Jack Graham. The 19-year-old put Richmond in front where they’d stay all afternoon, finishing with three goals in just his fifth senior game
THE MOMENT: The Tigers entered the fourth term 34 points up, but plenty of nerves remained. Jack Riewoldt’s soaring mark and goal to begin the quarter put Richmond 40 points up and began the Tiger party
THE STAR: Alex Rance was imperious in defence. The All Australian captain produced an all-action effort at the heart of the Tiger backline, giving no inch and subduing the much-vaunted Adelaide attacking threat. Lieutenants Bachar Houli and Dylan Grimes were also terrific
THE QUOTE: “Today’s performance echoes what we’ve been about all year and that’s 22 contributors. Dusty is special but all the guys have been outstanding,” Cotchin reflects on the all-round performance
THE STATS: Richmond’s first premiership in 37 years came after a 13th-placed finish last season – the biggest jump-up in AFL history. Adelaide went goalless in a quarter against the Tigers for the first time in the second term
THE INJURIES: How costly were a string of Adelaide complaints? Charlie Cameron was clearly hampered early by a calf issue. Jake Kelly (hamstring), Josh Jenkins (ribs), Hugh Greenwood (calf) and Luke Brown (knee) were hurt in the second term
WHAT’S NEXT: A party on Punt Road that could last all summer and, for Adelaide, a flight to South Australia that’s never felt longer. Trade period starts on Monday October 9, the draft is on November 24 and Richmond will play Carlton on Thursday March 22 to begin the 2018 AFL season