Adelaide vs. Richmond
Two of the AFL’s least successful teams over the past 20 twenty years will face off in an explosive AFL Grand Final. The Tigers have a dream run leading into their first GF since 1982, with Dustin Martin sweeping all the awards in the midst of a faultless finals series including the coveted Brownlow Medal. The Crows have kept it low-key but continue to show that they are the team to beat this year and will head into their third grand final as deserved favourites.
It was a nervous wait for Tiger fans but Trent Cotchin managed to escape suspension for an accidental hit on Giant Dylan Shiel, allowing him to line-up against his fellow Brownlow medal winning teammate Dusty Martin. The Crows midfield is nothing to scoff at either with Rory Sloane and the Crouch brothers forming a dangerous centre bounce squad. However, they will have to shake off the finals heartbreak stories of Mitch McGovern and Brodie Smith who both suffered season ending injuries and will miss out on the sides grand final berth.
It will be a fascinating battle between defence and offence, with the Crows boasting a potent forward line with the likes of Eddie Betts, Charlie Cameron, Josh Jenkins, Tom Lynch and skipper Tex Walker all capable of kicking a big bag. The Tigers back six are steely and hard to catch off guard and should have most of the answers, but only if their midfield and small forward line can bring their usual hard tackling pressure. Both sides are unlikely to send taggers to quell the influence of opposition mid’s so expect big numbers for either team’s elite inside players.
The Crows have been the best team all year, with one of their biggest wins coming back in round six against the Tigers at the Adelaide Oval. They kicked sixteen goals to four after quarter time but it’s hard to see such a one sides display occurring at the MCG. The Tigers have an exceptional record at the ground while the Crows have regularly played below their best there. We think it will come down to whichever team is classier with ball in hand and capitalises on opposition turnovers, and it’s hard to go past the Crows when it comes to class and footy smarts. Out tip for the Grand Final is the Crows -6.5 at the line.
Mr Pineapple Thinks – Adelaide -6.5 @ $1.95