Port Adelaide v Richmond, Adelaide Oval, 4.50pm
Minor premiers, rested and chasing a premiership to honour the greats before them in the club’s 150th anniversary. That is Port Adelaide. As for Richmond, they are the reigning premiers and heading into hostile territory seeking entry to another grand final, which if won, would give them three flags in four years and claims on a very special dynasty.
The stage is well and truly set and it is reasonable to expect fireworks. Neither side will take a backward step and just how the two teams apply themselves when the ball is at its hottest inside the opening 10 minutes could well dictate the direction this match takes.
Both the Power and Tigers defend stoutly and are keen to see the ball in motion. However, one thing that separates Richmond from their opposition during their successful period is an ability to absorb pressure and then push back with real vigour and efficiency.
VERDICT: Richmond by 10 points
Brisbane v Geelong, Gabba, 4.40pm
There comes a time in a football team’s growth when it makes a statement. When we reflect on the 2020 season, one like we have never seen before, it could well be Brisbane’s qualifying final victory over Richmond.
The Lions grew before our eyes in that contest, standing their ground with unflinching effectiveness that signalled they had arrived. It is an approach which they need to replicate against Geelong. The Cats love to control the tempo of a game and spot up teammates by foot before scything their way forward at the appropriate time.
Expect Brisbane to get up in their grill and deny them the time and space they enjoyed against Collingwood. If that is achieved and they take their chances at the other end, the advantage of playing at home could be too great.
VERDICT: Brisbane by 8 pointsMarket Market