No fairytale farewell flag for Gaz as Richmond make it a lucky baker's dozen

www.theroar.com.au
10 min read
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There has been no fairytale finish for Gary Ablett Jr, after the Geelong Cats became the latest team to fall victim to the Richmond dynasty. The 'Son of God', in his 357th and final AFL game, was hoping to ride into the sunset with his third premiership medallion, while Joel Selwood was hoping to become […]
There has been no fairytale finish for Gary Ablett Jr, after the Geelong Cats became the latest team to fall victim to the Richmond dynasty.

The 'Son of God', in his 357th and final AFL game, was hoping to ride into the sunset with his third premiership medallion, while Joel Selwood was hoping to become a four-time premiership Cat and Patrick Dangerfield was attempting to win a flag in his first grand final.

The Cats had gone into the match having ended their preliminary final curse the previous week by defeating the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba, which denied the locals the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win a flag in their very own backyard.

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But for all the talk of a potential fairytale premiership, they found the Richmond Football Club and a certain player called Dustin Martin a mountain too far to overcome, going down by 31 points in the first AFL grand final to ever be held outside of Victoria.

A second wave of coronavirus infections in the state made it logistically impossible to stage the decider in a COVID-safe way at the MCG, so therefore the landmark call was made last month to stage the game at the Gabba in the prime-time evening timeslot.

Those who were lucky enough to witness this historic occasion in Brisbane were treated to a beauty, with both the Tigers and Cats testing each other over the course of four exhilarating quarters of football.

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The Tigers, who were playing in their third grand final in four years, were first to strike when Dion Prestia booted the game's opening major over 20 minutes into the first quarter.

Richmond fans would've had every right to feel nervous thereafter, as in the preceding six years, the first goalkicker of the grand final had gone on to lose the match.

Earlier, there was drama as Tiger Nick Vlastuin and retiring Cat Gary Ablett Jr copped injuries within seconds of each other – with the former copping a stray forearm from Patrick…
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