As part of our Mongrel Player of the Finals Award, Trent Adam Shields is compiling ratings for each player in every game of the finals.
Here are the returns for Richmond’s win over the Saints.
 Nathan Broad – 5
A mainstay of the Richmond defence for much of the year, Broad returned to this side after sitting on the sidelines for a few weeks and was typically serviceable, collecting six intercept possessions and three spoils as part of a Tiger backline that out-spoiled the Saints 35-15. Spent a bit of time in the ruck and was also unluckily pinged for a deliberate out of bounds when he appeared to be bumped over the line, however in the umpires defence there wasn’t much intent to keep it in.
 Dylan Grimes – 7
The Tiger star rebounded strongly from a rare down performance last week against Charlie Cameron to completely blanket the Saints second marking forward position, which was mostly occupied by Jonathon Marsh. An equal-season high eight spoils, and equal team-high six intercepts at an imperious 89% efficiency, highlighted by a desperate effort to prevent a certain Marsh goal off the ground in the last was the type of performance Grimes produces week in and week out throughout the year.
 Noah Balta – 6
Probably fortunate Max King was inaccurate, however as it was kept the rising Saint relatively quiet while also contributing three score involvements and two I50s as his booming kick was as always effective. Also spent some time moving through the ruck position in an ongoing Hardwick experiment to provide support to the hard-working Nankervis. Extremely lucky not to give away a 50m penalty in the second term as he barrelled over an opponent while Marsh was lining up for a shot from an acute angle.
 Liam Baker – 8
Bursting out of the blocks, Baker was one of the best afield in the first term as his assured hands realised seven disposals, only trailing the prolific Bacher Houli. Allowed more freedom than last week and capitalised with 19 disposals (2nd season-high), six marks (2nd season-high) and four R50 (2nd season-high) in a very good outing.
 Nick Vlastuin – 7
Nominally being minded by Saints skipper Jarryn Geary at times, Vlastuin was again only able to record the one mark for the second final in a row, well down on a season average of 5.2. He was still able to collect 16 disposals, gaining 367m in the process and led his side in tackles with six, including one on a hapless Dean Kent that prevented a shot on goal in the second.
 Bachar Houli – 8
The Richmond star was the leading possession winner on the ground with 32, also returning five I50 and eight R50 touches both season-highs. While he was perhaps not as damaging by foot or hand as we’ve become accustomed to he was still able to have six score involvements and a wonderful pass to set up Lynch for his second.
 Kamdyn McIntosh – 7
The moustachioed Tiger winger was matched up on experienced Saint, Dan Hannebury but they played mostly wide of each other. McIntosh’s hard running was rewarded with an opportunistic goal in the first quarter after Lynch spilt a pack after another Martin clearance, the fourth time in the past five games he has hit the scoreboard. Nineteen disposals, 489m gained (almost 200m up on his season average), six I50 and 3 R50 show his work-rate.
 Dion Prestia – 6
The former Sun returned to familiar surrounds at Metricon and built on his impressive outing last game after an extended absence. 17 neat touches, four clearances and a well taken goal when he ran on perfectly to a diving Edwards handball after receiving from Nankervis and Lynch in typical Tiger fashion.
 Marlion Pickett – 4
The second chapter of the fairytale in 2020 has been far less emphatic, despite often finding himself in great position, Pickett’s game was riddled with kicking errors and frustrated aggression. The coach is an unabashed fan of what he brings though, and while not running a hard tag was able to totally neutralise Brad Hill’s influence on the game.
 Jack Graham – 5
Wasn’t able to make as big of an impact on this game as last week but did enjoy a purple patch in the third term where his clean hands and big body were integral in several chains of possession across the ground. Only 14 disposals in this one, but at the elite 93% while also adding three tackles.
 Jason Castagna – 5
The numbers would suggest otherwise, but Castagna was lively all night despite just nine disposals. Calmly finished from 30m after a sublime pass from Edwards early in the last term to extinguish the Saints hopes.
 Dustin Martin – 9
The Black & Yellow maestro further consolidated his legend as one of the finest final’s performers in the game’s rich history with yet another virtuoso performance on the big stage. Game-highs for score involvements (nine), clearances (six), I50s (ten) and metres gained (597) indicate when the lights are at their brightest the biggest stars really earn their salary. In the first term Martin imposed his will on the contest wrenching out four clearances and driving the ball inside the attacking 50 four times as no other player recorded more than one. Capped off his evening with a lopping left foot snap after a nice give from Lynch to snuff out any last hope for the Saints.
 Tom J. Lynch – 8
The choirboy looks belie an old-fashioned centre half forward who brutalises the contest and his opponents at every opportunity. Coaches speak glowingly about navigating that fine line to play on the edge, Lynch doesn’t so much as creep up to it, but picks it up and snaps it over his knee holding the broken tatters triumphantly over his head. Another ill-disciplined act on direct opponent Dougal Howard after giving away a 50m penalty to Marshall will certainly be on the MROs agenda but should only attract a fine – one thing is certain though, Richmond are infinitely more dangerous with Lynch in the side. Another player who thrives in the cut-throat amphitheatre of finals footy, Lynch much like Andrews last week after an enforced hamstring-related layoff came out breathing fire and goaled within a minute after a contested mark. Season-high disposals, marks, tackles and shots on goal would be raising alarm bells at Alberton.
 Jack Riewoldt – 3
The 3-time Coleman Medallist was soundly beaten by unsung Saint Callum Wilkie, but also selflessly played a decoy role to accommodate the in-form Lynch. A season low disposal count won’t be pretty viewing, but the coaches will be enthused about a season-high tackle count of three, Riewoldt was also able to capitalise on one of the many occasions where Lynch halved a contest while outnumbered 3-to-1 and pounced on the loose ball to provide the goal assist to Rioli.
 Daniel Rioli – 7
The Tiger small with the rich family history finds himself in a nice vein of form as this finals series reaches a crescendo. Another 15 disposals, a nice goal where he worked hard to be in the right position, and three tackles including a desperate effort in the last to mow down a streaking Ben Paton are exactly the type of contributions his coaches would be demanding at this time of the year.
 Toby Nankervis – 8
Perhaps just shaded in the head to head battle against young star Saint Rowan Marshall in the duel of the night. Nankervis has noticeably lifted his rating in the past two games without Soldo available, delivering another 14 disposals, four clearances and seven score involvements as he adds another midfielder to the powerful Richmond side.
 Shane Edwards – 9
Another Tiger suddenly looking refreshed and ready for upcoming battles after missing most of the season. 2019 All Australian Edwards competed with Martin for best afield honours in this one with a superb performance comprising 21 disposals, five clearances, seven score involvements, two goals assists to Prestia and Castagna respectively and two goals of his own, the second courtesy of a magnificent snap deep in the pocket after Bolton smothered a Marshall clearance.
 Trent Cotchin – 6
The Tiger skipper equalled the long-standing record of Percy Bentley for most games captaining the famous club and appeared hell-bent on imposing his physicality on the contest. This wasn’t always successful however as he run down by former teammate Dan Butler in the first, and then extremely lucky not to concede a 50m penalty to Zac Jones with a vicious late tackle in the second quarter. 19 possessions, six intercepts and four score involvements were a solid performance and a late diving tap on to send Lynch into the open goal indicative of the effort he brings to this side.
 David Astbury – 6
The tall Tiger defender recovered from a fumbly first quarter to again be a consistent performer. Showing his unwavering commitment to doing what is best for the team, he spent some time in the unfamiliar surrounds of the ruck supporting lone follower Nankervis. Twelve touches at 92%, five marks and five spoils were a good return.
 Jayden Short – 7
The Tigers set up to utilise the penetrating kick of Short and he delivered again last night, 495m gained at 77% from his 14 kicks and a team high seven marks, running marginally above his season averages.
 Kane Lambert – 4
The industrious Tiger mid was subdued on the night, most notably in the second half with only four of his 13 touches coming after half time. His usual composure with the ball was somewhat missing to as his disposal efficiency ran at a paltry 54% down from a season average of 77%.
 Shai Bolton – 8
The young Tiger star is adjusting well to life with Edwards and Prestia back in the midfield rotation as he spent more time up forward against the Saints. A game-high return of three goals, all in the first half, the first containing a decent amount of luck as Bolton shimmied to get free and looked to centre it to the top of the square but it rolled through, while the second was a reflex snap as he ran onto a loose ball. He contributed a brilliantly timed smother and tap on in the second as Marshall looked to clear a throw-in situation which was finished by Edwards, before lastly taking a strong mark in front from a Martin tumble punt and duly converted.
Full game review below
 Jonathon Marsh – 5
Possibly a tough rating considering he delivered a 50% increase on his season average for disposals and a 75% increase on clearances, but the stat line of 0.2 in front of goal ultimately brought him undone. An honest trier who deserved another chance at AFL level, his first quarter run down on the impressive Baker was terrific
 Dougal Howard – 5
The former Port key backman has had an outstanding first season at Moorabbin but was unable to contain a rampaging Lynch in this match, and the damage could’ve been far worse had the Tiger spearhead kicked straight. He continued to work hard all evening though, seven spoils contributing half of his club’s total and twelve touches at 84% providing good service to the midfielders.
 Ben Paton – 5
The St Kilda backman will be nursing a sore head courtesy of an errant Lynch elbow in a marking contest along with the broken dreams of finals glory today. Spending an extended period of time on the bench as doctors worked feverishly to stem the bleeding, Paton struggled to get into the game thereafter, his 12 disposals at 100% handy, but wasn’t able to influence as he’d have liked.
 Nick Coffield – 9
The highly rated draft pick from 2017 has come of age in season 2020, his first full AFL season. The young Saint took a match-leading nine marks, and also nine intercept possessions in a most impressive performance against the fearsome Tiger attacking onslaught. This experience should drive him to even higher heights next year.
 Callum Wilkie – 7
The rookie elevated Wilkie continued his fantastic season as he nullified Tiger champion goal-kicker Riewoldt, holding him to no score for only the second time this year. His ten disposals and five intercepts complemented by the outstanding five out of six one on ones in the defensive 50 zone that he won.
 Jarryn Geary – 6
The Saints skipped started forward again, hoping to limit Tiger playmaker Vlastuin in the same way he was able to on Caleb Daniel last week. While keeping the Tiger number 1 to only a single mark, he was not able to generate on the scoreboard and as the first quarter was drawing to a close dropped a simple uncontested mark that could’ve been vital if not for fast thinking from teammate Butler who threw it on the boot as the siren rang. Nevertheless, fourteen touches and four tackles had him far from the Saints worst on the night and he can hold his head high.
 Bradley Hill – 2
The high-priced former Hawk and Docker star has endured a tough first season in Saints colours, and last night was a big disappointment. While he’s certainly young enough and good enough to turn it around, both fans and coach Brett Ratten would have cringed when Hill nervously poked his foot at the ball rather than bending down to pick it up as Martin approached. The ball was quickly swept away, and Hill might want to call in sick on the day of his exit interview after that effort. No one needs or expects Hill to be a rugged extracting machine, but if he’s not doing that he needs to be flying up and down the wings with two-way running, this was most definitely missing in this game.
 Sebastian Ross – 7
The Saint two-time Best & Fairest winner played wide of Dusty Martin in the Semi Final and while not able to impact the game in the same way that the Tiger megastar did (who can?) was certainly in his sides best few on the night. A season’s best 25 touches, up 50% on his average, a team-high seven score involvements and a goal running onto a smart piece of work by Tim Membrey to start the last quarter brought them back to within 3 goals, but that was as close as they got.
 Dan Hannebery – 7
The former Swan superstar, one of only two Premiership players on the Saints list has returned from injury to be a vital contributor in St Kilda’s return to finals after an absence of almost a decade. Playing on, but away from McIntosh, Hannebury was equally important for his side as his clever handballs often set in motion an attacking movement, and with a team-high five clearances got back to what he’s been best known for, getting the ball first.
 Dan Butler – 7
It’s still inconceivable that 2017 Tiger Premiership player Butler was overlooked for the AA team, but he again turned up to work as he has 19 other times this year. He was at his best in the first term keeping his side alive as the Tigers threatened to blow them away, a goal assist to Savage, a big tackle on Tret Cotchin to draw a free kick and a clever snapped goal on the stroke of quarter time his best contributions. 13 disposals and a game-high six tackles (4 inside F50) reflective of his unrelenting work ethic.
 Tim Membrey – 7
The under-sized Saints key forward has become a very consistent player in 2020, with some considering him a potential leader once Geary calls time. In the second term Membrey burst into life, taking 3 strong leading marks amongst his four disposals pinpointing Max King on a perfectly weighted pass only for the big man to miss from straight in front. Only behind Coffield with eight marks, plus the goal assist to Ross to kick start the Saints charge in the last.
 Hunter Clark – 7
The player intrinsically linked with Nick Coffield as they were drafted together in 2017 has equally stepped up this year as the Saints continue their march up the ladder. Clark was very good without being outstanding, collecting 17 disposals and a career-high six I50s. His brightest spot was early in the last when he bustled through a pack taking the ball cleanly and forcing it to Membrey who set up Ross for a goal.
 Jack Lonie – 3
Lonie wasn’t the first and most certainly won’t be the last small opposition forward unable to find time and space to hurt the mighty Tiger defence. When Butler needed some support on the ground as Membrey and King competed well in the air, Lonie was unable to provide any assistance with a lowly six disposal, zero tackle game.
 Max King – 5
A key forward can influence the result in many ways, but fairly or not his goalkicking aptitude will ultimately be how he was judged. King was lively in this match and led his side with seven score involvements and two goal assists, but his three behinds and no goals made an already difficult task to unlock the Richmond defence near on impossible.
 Josh Battle – 4
The St Kilda strongman who raced against time to recover from an ankle injury for this game curiously spent over 30 minutes on the bench across the second and third terms. Once he returned to the field of play, he immediately became a functioning third tall target, blunting the Tigers ability to attract extra defenders to the contest. A big mark 15m out was shamefully missed, then just after Ross found Battle in space and this time he scored.
 Rowan Marshall – 8
The Saints were hamstrung at selection with the unavailability of Ryder, however they had a more than capable replacement for his role on the ball in exciting youngster Rowan Marshall. The Saint fought a pulsating battle with Toby Nankervis and took the points narrowly in an engrossing contest as he gave his all to his side, 20 hit outs, sixteen disposals, five marks, two clearances will give him the confidence to push even harder next season.
 Zak Jones – 5
The former Swans hard man copped a heavy blow in the second quarter as Cotchin slung him to the ground and he seemed rattled after this. A below-average 14 touches, 3 tackles and two clearances shouldn’t take away from what was a successful first season at the club.
 Jack Steele – 8
The AA confirmed his status as the most improved player in the league this year as he racked up another 25 disposals, four tackles and three clearances as he stood toe to toe with the imposing Tiger midfield and didn’t take a backward step. A contentious holding the ball decision against Noah Balta, then a stunning snap from outside the boundary line picked the Saints up on his ample shoulders and brought them back into the fight in the second term.
 Shane Savage – 7
Playing his first final since the losing 2012 GF, and only second match of the season, Savage was a live wire early with seven first term touches, launching a long early goal after a give and go with Butler. Finishing with seventeen possessions and team-leading 392m gained it will be interesting to see if Ratten sees Savage in his ongoing plans.
 Jack Billings – 4
The Saint midfielder didn’t have trouble finding the ball, collecting 16 disposals, however he let himself and the team down with a diabolical efficiency rating of just 44% (down on a season average of 70%). Three tackles of which two were inside F50, show good intent, but on the night, he was below par.
 Dean Kent – 3
The former Melbourne midfielder looked out of his depth in the second term as the fearsome Tigers applied the blowtorch. To his credit, he responded quite well to compile 11 touches and a clever goal when he averted disaster getting his foot to a wayward handball by Max King deep in the third quarter.
 Jack Sinclair – 4
The Saint utility enjoying a consistent season unfortunately ended his year on a low as he was well down on total disposals, R50, I50, marks and goal assists as he just couldn’t get into the game at either end as the Tigers brushed him aside with relative ease.
So, there we go. Too high? Too low? Fair? I’m sure you’ll let us know in the comments section below, or on our socials.
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