Each game during the finals, Trent Adam Shields and his gang of merry men will be rating the players out of ten for their performances.

These ratings will feed directly into The Mongrel Punt Player of the Finals Award.

Here are the numbers from the Brisbane v Richmond clash.

 

BRISBANE:

 

[10] Daniel Rich – 8

Setting the standard from the opening minute when he ran on to a McCluggage handball to goal from outside 50, the Lion leader grew from strength to strength. 18 precision kicks, nine marks, eight R50, three I50 and 605m gained all well above his season’s average had him as one of the most influential on the ground.

 

[27] Darcy Gardiner – 5

Quieter than normal the dependable Lions defender was fumbly on occasion but worked hard throughout doubling his season’s average for tackles and playing the selfless role required as best shown in the third term when he raced from defence to set a shepherd on Dusty Martin to provide clear passage for a team mate to goal.

 

[31] Harris Andrews – 9

The mainstay of the Lions defence was bag after missing three games with a hamstring strain and it was like he never left as he dominated the air, recording 11 spoils, the ninth time in 15 matches he has returned double figures in this category. 12 disposals at 100%, and seven marks up from his season average of 4.5 had him vying for best afield honours.

 

[33] Zac Bailey – 5

The Brisbane speedster struggled to get involved early, but exploded in the third term, collecting four of his 10 disposals, 2 of his three I50s, 209m of his total 257m gained, and an excellent roving goal where he hit the pack at pace collecting Stefan Martin’s spilled mark to pounce and put the Lions into an almost unassailable position.

 

[35] Ryan Lester – 7

The Brisbane veteran has enjoyed a renaissance this season in a key defensive role, and faced a herculean task matched up on Tiger three-time Coleman Medallist Jack Riewoldt under the fierce finals spotlight. Eleven disposals at over 90% and six marks was a good return, but when coupled with preventing the dangerous Tiger spearhead any real impact this was a great game.

 

[14] Grant Birchall – 5

The four-time premiership Hawk has been a calming influence on the rising Lion backline, and while you can no longer set your watch to his delivering 20+ disposals at 80%+ efficiency, his experience in tight moments is still valuable.

 

[6] Hugh McCluggage – 8

The silky winger perhaps spurred on by the massive snub of his specialist position in the AA team, or maybe by the return of Jarrod Berry (Yang to his Ying) produced an exceptional match in Brisbane’s first finals win in over a decade. 20 quality possessions, five tackles including a team-leading two inside F50, a goal assist to Daniel Rich in the first minute, and the sealing goal with a snap late in the last addressing a woeful 8.21 conversion for the season was a mighty return.

 

[5] Mitch Robinson – 6

The Brisbane livewire was his usual combative self, running off his line at one point to shirtfront Marlion Pickett as he ran to the bench, but that’s what you get with Mitch – 100% energy all the time. A combination of rushed kicks to the opposition and courageous marks invariably end up in the positive, a player ever team would love.

 

[4] Callum Ah Chee – 7

Kept the Tigers small forwards in close check throughout the night, recording an impressive six tackles and five intercept possessions.

 

[15] Dayne Zorko – 6

The Brisbane skipper enjoyed a typically boisterous night, his 19 touches including some poor decisions such as taking an ill-advised advantage from a McInerney holding the ball and butchering it out of bounds, but also a monster tackle on Prestia, one of five for the night to win a free kick at the start of the all important last quarter to set the tone for his team to win.

 

[25] Daniel McStay – 2

The Brisbane power forward again teased his critics with an early pack mark and goal, displaying his obvious ability, but thereafter gave nothing. Zero tackles is telling as it indicates work rate, and McStay was systematically destroyed by Astbury in one of the few disappointing outcomes for the night from a Lion perspective.

 

[16] Cam Rayner – 7

The former number one draft selection has shown glimpses in this his third season as to why he was so highly considered as a junior. Two direct goal assists, both by hand to Charlie Cameron spoke volumes of his maturity as he summed up the situation and clinically executed on both occasions, and he truly made his one kick for the night count, taking the ball at pace from a Hipwood gather and bursting through the line to goal from distance.

 

[46] Oscar McInerney – 9

While his partner Martin broke even with Nankervis, the Big O completely demolished him, a game high 21 hit outs only the start of his influence. Four marks (doubling his season’s average), four clearances and a team-high seven tackles, including an early one to set the tone where he drew an additional 50m penalty against Shai Bolton and slotted the resultant kick at goal.

 

[30] Eric Hipwood – 7

The lanky Brisbane key forward continued his worrying trend of missing set shots but was otherwise great on a banner day for his club. Two contested marks outside of his favoured F50 were instructive of his class, he was also a key in one of the plays of the night as he cleanly collected a loose ball before setting Cam Rayner clear for a long goal in the second term.

 

[23] Charlie Cameron – 9

The preeminent small forward in the AFL re-found his spark in this game after a subdued second half of the year post a knee injury. Matched up on Tiger star Dylan Grimes, Cameron completely revered the touch up he received in the corresponding game last season, punishing the Tigers with a game high three goals, his best return since round 9, and limited Grimes’ impact by roaming far and wide to collect three clearances and four tackles. His superb goal from an impossible angle in the last had footy fans reminiscing on Daicos’ iconic moment in the famous 1990 Grand Final.

 

[12] Stefan Martin – 6

Martin broke even with his Tiger counterpart Toby Nankervis, and added a towering relieving mark from a quick kick out of defence to his four clearances, but it was his peculiar decision to play on from a free kick 35m out in the last that will be remembered from this one.

 

[17] Jarryd Lyons – 8

While he suffers far more misses than hits these days Bruce McAvaney hit the nail on the head when he gushed that Lyons gets better the further north he travels. Game highs for disposals (24), clearances (seven) and score involvements (eight) bookmarked a near perfect game, his only blemish a missed tackle that allowed Tiger Captain Trent Cotchin to snap an inspiring first quarter goal.

 

[9] Lachie Neale – 7

The red-hot Brownlow Medal favourite started disastrously not troubling the stat sheet in the first term, before springing to life in the second with eight touches including a booming goal from outside the arc after Richmond had conceded a double 50m penalty. While this was only the 3rd time this season Neale had failed to record 20 or more disposals, he was very good after quarter time and still managed to win the 3rd most clearances on the night.

 

[7] Jarrod Berry – 6

A welcome return after a month on the sidelines, Berry had the chance to ice the game before three-quarter time with a simple set shot that drifted wide. His hard running, 315m gained (vs a season average of 248) and six marks seemed to energise his stablemate Hugh McCluggage to reach greater heights.

 

[11] Lincoln McCarthy – 5

The lot in life for a small forward is more often barren than match winner, despite only two behinds on the scoresheet McCarthy worked tirelessly with three tackles and kept the free-wheeling Tiger backline accountable.

 

[18] Keidean Coleman – 4

The fifth gamer missed his big moment, run down from behind by David Astbury as the three-quarter siren was about to sound after a neat sidestep. However, some ferocious tackling and second efforts would still have him firmly in the frame to play the Prelim.

 

[37] Brandon Starcevich – 7

The Rising Star nominee belied his inexperience with an assured match punctuated by clean hands and choosing the right moments to zone off to create five intercept possessions, after an early indiscretion giving away a 50m penalty. He also recorded season highs with two clearances and three inside 50s.

 

Brisbane v Richmond – The Big Questions

 

RICHMOND:

 

[12] David Astbury – 8  

The consistent Tiger seemed at risk of not forcing his way back into the side after injury at stages over the back end of the year, but his form tonight put those ideas to bed. After completely blanketing McStay, the Tiger number 12 went about picking up 12 disposals, seven marks, seven intercepts and four tackles including two certain goal saving efforts in the dying seconds of the second and third quarters.

 

[2] Dylan Grimes – 3

The Tiger superstar lowered his colours, a feat which rarely if ever happens as his dominance of Charlie Cameron came crashing to an end. The Lion dynamo forced Grimes away from his familiar territory inside defensive 50 then bested him on the sprint back to claim three goals. Have mercy on the poor soul who finds himself next to Grimes next week.

 

[21] Noah Balta – 5

The Tiger big man gained 405 metres with his booming right foot but seemed more rushed than usual as the Lions forwards fought tooth and nail to maintain the ball in their offensive zone. Grimes being well beaten seemed to throw the usually settled defence into disarray and Balta had his hands full with Hipwood to be able to assist as a third man in contests.

 

[7] Liam Baker – 6

The Tiger defender showed his potential several times, a clever handball chain where he assessed upcoming danger and went along the ground to Houli before regaining possession and setting Edwards free was classy.

 

[1] Nick Vlastuin – 5

The usually sound timing of Vlastuin was amiss as he returned a season-low of a solitary mark, he was able to collect a team-high eight intercepts, but overall he was down as he struggled with the vibrant Lions forwards.

 

[14] Bachar Houli – 5

The attacking Tiger half-back was well held by the organised Lions forward line, he was still able to collect 17 disposals, but his opponents structured to limit him to about 50% of his season’s average for metres gained and only a 70% efficiency down from 80%.

 

[33] Kamdyn McIntosh – 5

Winger McIntosh had an almost game, a nice goal from distance in the first quarter when he should have received a 50m penalty, along with a contested mark in the last which he found Rioli for a goal the good, while a bad miss in the third from a simple snap and inability to limit the Lions wingers the bad.

 

[34] Jack Graham – 7

The young Tiger captain in waiting celebrated his commitment to the club with another strong performance, 16 disposals, a game high nine tackles and equal team-high four score involvements had him as one of the better four-quarter contributors for the reigning champs.

 

[50] Marlion Pickett – 5

Similar to his fellow winger Kamdyn McIntosh, Pickett had a game of ups and downs. Two I50 tackles and five intercepts displaying his full range of anticipation and athleticism were let down by a dismal disposal efficiency of 58%.  An undisciplined 50m penalty gifted Lachie Neale a goal in the second term.

 

[11] Jason Castagna – 5

The Tiger forward pocket was lively on the night collecting twelve disposals, five marks and a well taken goal from an elite Martin assist, but wasn’t able to land that extra goal or assist that could have sparked his team to get on a roll.

 

[29] Shai Bolton – 5

Another of the Jekyll & Hyde brigade in Yellow & Black, Bolton returned from injury and alternated being caught holding the ball with centre clearances, before a couple of bouts of ill-discipline led to two separate 50m penalties being conceded, both of them ultimately ending with goals. Almost delivered the goal of the year deep in the last, but a review noted a small spike on hot spot and the call was over-turned.

 

[4] Dustin Martin – 6

The Tiger megastar threatened to take over the game in the first half with four centre clearances, his precision kicking and creative vision handing goals on a platter to Riewoldt and Castagna with a skill that sets him apart from every other player in the game. As the game rolled on though his influence was dulled as Lyons and Neale started to own the clearances, a game-high ten I50s still a good result for a player whose average is most other’s absolute best.

 

[41] Mabior Chol – 2

The athletic forward/ruckman just couldn’t get involved in this match and his position in the team with Lynch’s return looming large is shaky at best. Nine hit outs but only one mark despite several good looks a poor return.

 

[8] Jack Riewoldt – 4

So often it is Riewoldt who stands up to be counted on the finals stage, and so it looked again as he marked and goaled early in the first, but despite a game-high three I50 tackles he was well held by Ryan Lester, a late goal probably making his outing look better than it was.

 

[17] Daniel Rioli – 7

The beleaguered forward line rover was one of his sides best tonight, relishing the tight spaces and frenetic pace to deliver his best game of the year alongside the Dream time match in Darwin. Ten disposals, three tackles and two goals an excellent return for a small forward in a close, low scoring final.

 

[25] Toby Nankervis – 6

The Tigers have been hamstrung by a season ending injury to first choice ruck Ivan Soldo but the more than capable replacement in Nankervis will give every ounce of himself every time he runs onto the field. 16 disposals and three clearances a handy return, but he was battered into submission by the twin towers of McInerney and Martin on the night.

 

[10] Shane Edwards – 5

The smooth moving Tiger was at his best in the centre, picking up four clearances and driving the ball into the forward line, alas he was only able to contribute 13 disposals as a heavily interrupted season may have caught up with him in the unforgiving finals cauldron.

 

[9] Trent Cotchin – 7

The Tigers skipper produced a typically inspirational display kicking a rare goal (his first of the season) in the first quarter after brushing off two tackles and snapping from 40m. An equal game-high seven clearances were offset by just a 50% efficiency.

 

[3] Dion Prestia – 6

The 2019 Jack Dyer Medallist played his first game since round 5 and it was like he hadn’t skipped a beat, 20 hard earned disposals, four tackles including an at the time match-saving one on a rampaging Hipwood a fantastic return. Will be better for the run.

 

[15] Jayden Short – 8

Arguably the Tigers best on the night, Short was the leading possession getter with 22 at 87% as he drove his side forward a team-high 552m. Brisbane were superb in preventing the Tigers run from defence, but Short made sure his team were in the contest until late in the final term.

 

[39] Jake Aarts – 3

The young Tiger forward has been a revelation this season but won’t have fond memories of his first final as he found the going tough against a committed and aggressive opposition. Needs to find a way to hit the scoreboard or set up teammates when he’s not at his best is the next stage to his development.

 

[23] Kane Lambert – 6

A typically robust performance from Lambert resulted in nineteen disposals, 11 of them contested four clearances and an equal team-high four score involvements. He was good, but not as good as the Lions mids who gained ascendency in the second half.

 

So there you go – I’m sure you’ll have a few ratings of your own. Feel free to let us know.

 

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