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|2019 VFL Grand Final|
|Venue: Ikon Park, Melbourne|
|Match time: Fulltime|
|Richmond Tigers||Williamstown Seagulls|
The Richmond Tigers have clung on to win a tense VFL Grand Final by just three points over the fast-finishing Williamstown Seagulls at Ikon Park in what will go down as an instant classic.
Williamstown Seagulls 7.13 (55)
Richmond Tigers 8.10 (58)
After a league-best season, the Richmond Tigers prepare to face off against a similarly impressive Williamstown Seagulls in the VFL Grand Final this Sunday at Ikon Park. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 2:15pm (AEST).
Much like their AFL counterparts, Richmond have steamrolled their way to finals, recording a win-streak dating back to Round 16 (6).
They came close to playing a semi-final after their scrape with Essendon, miraculously pulling off a win by the boot of Toby Nankervis, who recorded 22 disposals, four tackles and 33 hit-outs for the game.
Nankervis has since been reselected for Richmond AFL Finals campaign, remaining unnamed for both the Preliminary and VFL Grand Final.
Callum Coleman-Jones stepped up well to replace Nankervis in the following clash, recording 17 disposals, three marks, 24 hit-outs with two minor scores.
Connor Menadue led in both goals (3.1) and disposals (27), picking up four tackles and four marks to accompany his stellar hit-out, while taking his season a 17.7 disposal average with 14 goals.
Third-place NAB Rising Star, Sydney Stack, is a significant inclusion in this match-up, having stolen much of the limelight this year with a stellar debut season in the AFL.
This will be Stack’s first game since sustaining an ankle injury last month.
Not only will this game present a chance for a VFL Premiership, Stack’s performance may also dictate whether he makes selection next week in Richmond’s Grand Final line-up.
Much like Richmond, Williamstown’s break following the qualifiers served them well.
They started strong in week one to defeat the Footscray Bulldogs (64-77) on the road before making short work of Essendon (96-70) next fortnight.
Liam Hunt pulled up well in the Footscray clash to record a game-high 27 disposals with five tackles and two marks, alongside Mitchell Hibberd who managed 24 possessions, eight tackles, three marks and a goal.
Next fortnight, Hibberd delivered again with 29 disposals, three marks and four tackles in their win over Essendon, while Nick Ebinger recorded five goals to take his tally to 18 for the season.
Though it was Nick Meese who starred for the Seagulls last week, amassing an outstanding 70 hit-outs, 25 disposals and four tackles in one of the best rucking performances seen all year.
The Seagulls enter this match-up with an 8-1-1 record from their last 10 games.
Though in their only match-up this season, the Tigers made short work of the Seagulls, recording a 49-point win on the road with Dan Butler and Jake Aarts both kicking three goals each.
Richmond will be looking to retain dominance over Williamstown as they search for their first VFL Premiership since joining the league as an AFL standalone club in 2014.
Williamstown currently hold 16 VFL/VFA premierships since joining in 1884, last of which came from their 2015 campaign where they mounted a 54-point victory over the Box Hill Hawks.
Silvestro, Grewar, Ballard, Coffield and Stack return for Richmond this week, while Aarts falls out of the side.
For Williamstown, Rodda, Mundy, Martyn, McLarty and Andrews line up, with Philpot coming out.
With their AFL side already preparing for a Grand Final, I predict similar preparation to be put into Sunday’s game.
Richmond by 21 points.
First bounce: 2:15pm (AEST)
Venue: Ikon Park,
TV: Channel 7 (Victoria only)
B: 43. D. Eggmolesse-Smith, 42. R. Garthwaite, 33. K. Mcintosh
HB: 37. C. Menadue, 46. B. Miller, 31. O. Markov
C: 7. D. Butler, 26. R. Collier-Dawkins, 28. F. Turner
HF: 45. P. Naish, 41. M. Chol, 64. T. Silvestro
F: 16. M. Weller, 40. C. Coleman-Jones, 36. C. Moore
R: 38. N. Balta, 50. M. Pickett, 27. J. Ross
Int: 44. S. Stack, 21. J. Townsend, 32. L. English, 78. D. Coffield, 56. B. Grewar 51. S. Morris, 54. J. Ballard, 53. H. Beasley
23P: 55. L. Street
B: 10. L. Masters, 21. J. Tippett, 17. J. Charleston
HB: 18. J. Greiser, 15. O. Tate, 5. B. Monk
C: 9. A. Marcon, 7. M. Hibberd, 11. J. Dorgan
HF: 22. J. Pickess, 34. J. Ottavi, 3. S. Dunell
F: 2. B. Kennedy , 16. N. Rodda, 26. J. Thorpe
R: 49. N. Meese, 24. W. Wheeler, 25. L. Hunt
Int: 8. N. Mellington, 4. B. Myers, 6. S. Martyn, 1. J. Pongracic, 32. N. Sing, 23. S. McLarty, 46. D. Andrews , 37. N. Ebinger
23P: 48. T. Mundy