McLeod says: GF was a bit of a letdown from a neutral perspective, but an amazing performance from Mrs. Hardwick's boys! Pre-game TedSport recommended NO BET until there was unusual noise. Before the bounce, the money started flowing into the Adelaide jar. Meanwhile, our stake calculator was saying the HTH honey bet was on the Tigers.
ADELAIDE V RICHMOND
Early in the week DOS pointed out that if you went by traditional stats, you wouldn’t back Richmond for the Grand Final. The Tigers average fewer disposals than their opponents, and don't hit the target with the ones they do take. In fact, just by counting these things, using the usual analysis, Richmond rates the second worst in the league for disposal ‘efficiency’.
We know this is crap. So TedSport grades each disposal by the amount of pressure it puts on the opposition, that crucial element missing in the yes/no hit-the-target dichotomy. Meanwhile Richmond in the past ten weeks has forced its opponents into more catastrophic kicks than any other club — those we rate as minus-two or minus-three. Richmond has taken over Adelaide's mantle of being the best disrupter of opposition ball movement. The Crows are a close second.
Swept up in the yellow & black song prefacing Saturday night, we upgraded the Tigers to a few points on their side of the bookies' line at +6.5, but were not recommending betting early in the week. Before the bounce, the stake calculator was recommending a sneaky flutter on the Tigers HTH.
It was a killer-opening couple of minutes for a Tiger, with some costly errors deep in defence contributing to a fast start for the ready Crows. Big ruckman Sam Jacobs was giving silver service to the Crow mids; he was especially effective in a couple of F50 stoppages, converted by the Crows into a couple of 1st quarter goals. At the first break it was the Crows who had the edge, with Laird especially impactful across HB and the Crouch bros on top in the middle.
Talk in media circles during the week focused on T. Lynch as the ‘connector’, but TedSport claimed the Tigers as the best ‘disruptors’ in the business. They lived up to their end of season form, as the usually efficient Crows were incapable of cleanly moving the ball into scoring positions. They were held to just their third goal-less quarter for the year. When Dusty shrugged off his Adelaide opponent for a great contested mark, duly converted, the Tigers went into the long break with the lead and all the momentum.
There was no let up from the Tigers in Q3, as they kicked the first three goals of the quarter to make it seven on the trot. And it was their ball use and ability to transition the ball with ease that was murdering the Crows. This full ground pressure meant that the slick Adelaide ball use displayed this season was nowhere to be seen. It was the Tigers who ended the game with a kick rating advantage of 52 while Adelaide failed to click their attacking game into gear.
Richmond’s ability to disrupt Adelaide’s ball movement made the difference in the game, Adelaide finishing a miserable -16 for transition, the Tigers at +15. The high scoring Crows were held to their lowest score for the season, with Rance and Houli controlling the back half from where they launched many of Richmond’s attacking forays.
The game was over as a contest at 3Q time, and when Jack Riewoldt marked strongly in the F50 and converted for the first goal of Q4, it was officially Tiger Time. Long suffering Richmond fans were able to experience football nirvana with impromptu renditions of the theme song and the famous ‘yellow & black’ chant echoing around the famous stadium all through the final quarter.