The 2018 Toyota AFL Finals Series kicked off last night with a stunning game of footy with Richmond making a clear statement to the rest of the finals teams against the Hawks on a Thursday night at the ‘G.
The pundits predicted a tight contest to open up the 2016 Finals Series, but were left disappointed when the Tigers pulled away in the third quarter. Their sustained, immense pressure eventually undid the Hawks, and they won 13.17-95 to 9.10-64.
The commentary before the game surrounded Alistair Clarkson’s master coaching and whether his short kicking, high possession style could dismantle the black and yellow. Sadly for the Hawthorn faithful the game plan was stifled by an impressive Tigers outfit, who harassed, tackled and moved the ball forward at will from the opening bounce. The Hawks withstood and matched the pressure for the opening half, but the Tigers always seemed to have their measure and the bulk of opportunities.
Dusty Martin provided to class for Richmond with an unbelievable boundary from the pocket, running away from the goals, Cotchin was hard and solid and for once in Hawthorns recent history, it was a Rioli causing trouble rather than creating it. Daniel Rioli was dangerous and kicked goals and Macintosh was lively, kicking a couple majors.
For Hawthorn, their style disintegrated and as the game progressed, the kicks got longer, playing into the hands of the Tigers intercept back-men. James Frawley was a good inclusion for the brown and gold, keeping the Coleman medallist jack Reiwoldt goalless throughout the game. Tom Mitchell continued his stellar form this year with a mountain of possessions, but he only had a handful of mates contributing to the cause.
For a closer look at the other games, including the MASSIVE EAGLES VERSUS COLLINGWOOD this SATURDAY NIGHT AT OPTUS STADIUM feel free to listen to Danni’s Best Bits, featured below OR you can wait for the latest Triple M Esperance Catch Up, Twins Talkin’ the footy show with Sean and his twin brother which will be at the Catch Up link soon.