Tigers second half goes unmatched in comeback thriller

RICHMOND’S success rolls on with the club winning its third premiership in just four years.

The Tigers came from behind at half-time to beat Geelong by 31-points, claiming back-to-back AFL premierships and winning the first-ever AFL Grand Final at The Gabba in Brisbane last Saturday.

A complete second half by the yellow and black saw them kick nine goals to Geelong’s two, led by best on ground and Norm Smith medallist, Dustin Martin (21 disposals and four goals).

It was disappointment for Ireland’s Mark O’Connor and Zach Tuohy after becoming the first Irishmen to reach the AFL Grand Final since 2006.

The pair were off to a great start, linking up across Geelong’s backline to push the ball forward and into the hands of Tom Hawkins who registered the first score of the match.

O’Connor finished the match collecting nine disposals and had five intercepts across the backline.

Tuohy had 14 touches and one behind, as well as leading the Cats in contested possessions with ten.

Photo: Getty Images.

It was the match that had it all and within ten minutes of the first quarter, both sides had been dealt with huge blows.

A contest in Geelong’s forward line saw Tigers defender Nick Vlastuin struck in the head whilst coming back with the flight, ruling him out for the rest of the match with concussion.

For Geelong, superstar Gary Ablett Jr. landed awkwardly on his shoulder in a tackle, sending him straight down to the rooms. Ablett would return near the end of the first term to battle out the rest of the game on a suspected broken shoulder.

The first half ended in favour of the Cats as Geelong’s pressure dominated the Tigers, before a late goal from Dustin Martin cut the lead to 15-points.

It was the first time since 1921 where Richmond had trailed at half-time in a Grand Final, but it didn’t take long for this Tigers outfit to recoup and play like the team we had all seen in recent years.

Two quick goals through Jack Riewoldt and Jason Castagna seemed to have given the Tigers enough momentum to command the second half and limit Geelong to just two more goals for the rest of the match.

The fairytale finish for Geelong’s little master, Ablett, looked more and more uncertain while Martin cemented himself as one of the AFL’s best big-game performers.

A five-goal final term from Richmond saw them secure their 13th premiership and beat the Cats by 31-points.

RICHMOND     2.1     3.2     7.4     12.9     (81)
GEELONG        2.2     5.5     6.8     7.8      (50)

As per AFL.com.au:

Martin 4, Prestia 2, Riewoldt 2, Castagna, Lambert, Lynch, McIntosh
Geelong: Menegola 2, Dangerfield, Duncan, Guthrie, Hawkins, Miers

Martin, Short, Edwards, Prestia, Cotchin, Bolton
Geelong: Duncan, Stewart, Selwood, Menegola, Dahlhaus

Vlastuin (concussion), Houli (calf)
Geelong: Ablett (shoulder), Simpson (concussion)

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe