The 2019 AFL Grand Final pits a seemingly unstoppable Richmond outfit against a GWS Giants side who, in just their eighth ever season, are dreaming big.

Richmond v GWS Giants @ MCG

Saturday 28th September, 14:30 (AEST)

RichmondGWS
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
D. Astbury, N. Broad, D. GrimesBN. Haynes, P. Davis, A. Corr
HBB. Houli, N. Vlastuin, J. ShortHBA. Kennedy, S. Taylor, H. Shaw
CB. Ellis, D. Prestia, J. CaddyCZ. Williams, J. Kelly, L. Whitfield
HFD. Rioli, T. Cotchin, K. LambertHFS. Reid, J. Cameron, H. Perryman
FJ. Castagna, T. Lynch, J. RiewoldtFH. Himmelberg, J. Finlayson, B. Daniels
FOLT. Nankervis, S. Edwards, D. MartinFOLS. Mumford, T. Taranto, M. de Boer
I/CI. Soldo, L. Baker, M. Pickett, S. BoltonI/CJ. Hopper, D. Lloyd, T. Greene, A. Tomlinson


History:

Played 12: Richmond 8 wins v GWS 4 wins.

Last Five Meetings:

  • Richmond 13.16 (94) d GWS 9.13 (67) at the MCG (AFL Round 17, 2019)
  • GWS 19.11 (125) d Richmond 10.16 (76) at Giants Stadium (AFL Round 3, 2019)
  • GWS 11.13 (79) d Richmond 10.17 (77) at Giants Stadium (AFL Round 17, 2018)
  • Richmond 15.13 (103) d GWS 9.13 (67) at the MCG (AFL 2nd Preliminary Final, 2017)
  • Richmond 9.10 (64) d GWS 6.9 (45) at the MCG (AFL Round 18, 2017)

Final Thoughts:

Richmond

Richmond go into their second Grand Final in three years having won their last eleven games. Despite conceding a 21-point lead to Geelong in last week’s preliminary final, they clawed back the deficit with ease – perhaps the best indicator of their inner-belief, skillset and structure as a side. After the bye rounds, Richmond were out to $18 AFL premiership chances with Palmerbet. However they’ve chipped away at that market each and every week since. Their momentum, like in 2017, looks seemingly unstoppable and they start the game as deserved $1.37 favourites. But Damien Hardwick will be the last person counting his chickens. It was his 2018 Tigers, after all, who were spectacularly halted in their tracks by Collingwood in the upset of the year.

The Tigers know their dominance in the last three years deserves to translate into another flag. But they’ll equally know 2019’s last hurdle is far from a fait accompli. In particular, Hardwick will look to nullify the fast starting Giants, who have got the jump on their opponents throughout the AFL finals series.

Key match-up: Dylan Grimes, the Tigers’ Mr Reliable down back, is expected to get the big job on Jeremy Cameron. The Coleman Medalist’s three goals against Collingwood, despite limited use inside-50, in no uncertain terms won his side the game. But if anyone can quell the influence of the dynamic goal kicker, it’s the versatile Grimes.

GWS Giants

In just their eighth season of AFL football, the Giants are into a Grand Final. And while the naysayers will write it off as a natural result of favourable AFL concessions, in truth it’s far more than that. A look north at the plight of the Gold Coast Suns will tell you as much. For so long Leon Cameron’s ability to steer the ‘Ferrari’ of talent at GWS has been questioned, but no more. Firstly, he now leads a match-hardened, adept list of players who combine tenacity and grunt work with their undoubted talent. Secondly, Cameron has ushered his side into a Grand Final without four of his best players on the park. And finally, he has also led a side who were $34 outsiders for the flag with Palmerbet at the start of this AFL finals series.

There was good news and bad this week with Lachie Whitfield being declared fit to play. Stephen Coniglio, however, ruled himself out before selection. Captain Phil Davis is also carrying injuries to his shoulder and calf but has confirmed he will play. Having been hampered to a large extent in the second half against Collingwood, how well he responds to treatment is another worry for the Giants.

GWS have won two of their last three against the Tigers, including a comprehensive 49-point win earlier this year. And while they go in as (current) $3.12 outsiders with Palmerbet, there’s little basis to doubt their inner belief.

Key match-up: Matt de Boer is expected to go to Dustin Martin in a matchup with huge ramifications for the result. The Giants tagger kept the 2017 AFL Norm Smith medalist to just 15 touches in round three, and quelling his influence again will be vital.

Key Markets Analysis

Line: The Giants’ have been given a 17.5 point head start with Palmerbet, which could lure in punters predicting a low-scoring affair.

Total score: Speaking of, after the last four AFL Grand Finals have accumulated less than 170 points, the total score line has been set at 152.5. Punters looking at overs will be glad to see a clear forecast with minimal wind.

Norm Smith Medal: Unsurprisingly, Martin goes in as $6.50 favourite such is his ability on the big stage. In fact, Richmond make up the top four favourites. Click here to see the rest.

First goal kicker: Always a favourite for Grand Final day punters, and a tough one to pick. Do you opt for a key man in each forward line – say, Tom Lynch ($7.50) or Jeremy Cameron ($9.50)? Or, do you go left field and hope for a dash off the halfback line to bomb home from 50? Click here to see the entire list.

* Prices as of Wednesday 1pm

Tip: Margin: Richmond by 1-39 points @ $2.00