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Kangaroos Snatch Finals Dream from Tigers

Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from the MCG, Melbourne

When the legion of Richmond fans who packed the MCG for the first Elimination Final on Sunday saw the North Melbourne fan club banner – one side of which read “Tigers Don’t Win Finals” - they let out a ringing chorus of “boos”.
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They then no doubt dismissed the thought that Richmond could possibly be defeated in its third Elimination Final in a row and sat back in their seats ready for glory, so much better prepared were the Tigers this year, having finished fifth on the Ladder, only one game short of the Top Four.
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Tigers Crash Port Party

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Adelaide Oval

In Round 8, Richmond returned to the scene of last season’s 57 point Elimination Final debacle, determined to put up a better fight against a Port Adelaide team yet to find its best form in 2015. Although the game was to be a celebration of retiring Port legend Kane Cornes on his 300th and final game in front of a home crowd of more than 45,000 fans, it was the Tigers who burst out of the blocks early with a Jake Batchelor goal at the seven minute mark. Port players were being denied the space they crave for their free-running game as Richmond piled on the pressure with fierce tackling and an uncompromising attack on the ball. Jack Riewoldt found Brett Deledio right on the 50 meter arc at the 16 minute mark and Deledio did the rest, sending a towering kick through the goals to give Richmond a handy 19 point lead at quarter time. In a massive turnaround from when the teams last met, Port failed to kick a goal in the first quarter and the home fans grew restless with the slow start.

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Port Powers Into Semi Final

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting from Adelaide Oval for AFANA

On a warm, blustery Adelaide Sunday afternoon, footy fans descended on Adelaide Oval hoping to witness a tantalising contest. The visitors, Richmond, were on a roll, having won nine games in a row to somehow steal a spot in the Final Eight. An incredible number of Richmond fans had made the journey from Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and even as far as Europe. There must have been 10,000 rabid Tiger fans in full voice prior to the game. They would be quickly silenced once the game was underway. Port Adelaide, having stumbled somewhat after an incredible start to the season that saw them top of the table, had regained their mojo. More importantly, they had regained their two key back men in Alipate Carlisle and Jackson Trengove.
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Tigers Hit Bombers For Six

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

A little over a month and a half ago, the Richmond Football Club was languishing near the bottom of the AFL table, an abysmal 3-10 record reflecting a lost season after a promising return to Finals in 2013. Fast forward to their Round 20 game against arch-rivals Essendon with the Tigers a chance to take their record to 9-10 and retain a sniff of the possibility of Finals footy. Essendon itself has been in good shape to appear in the Finals after a horror 2013 when they finished eighth, only to have their points stripped due to the ASADA drug saga, vaulting Carlton from ninth position into the top eight. A win against Richmond would set the Bombers up nicely to play in the major round, despite missing their Captain Jobe Watson since Round 12.
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Tigers Down Giants For Five In A Row

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Richmond headed home to the MCG to take on the Greater Western Sydney Giants with a four game winning streak at stake. A win against the Giants would keep the Tigers’ slim Finals' chance alive, while any slip up would end their season with regard to post-season action. The Giants came into the game showing improved form, narrowly failing to beat premiership contenders Geelong in the previous round. Richmond coach Damien Hardwick would have been looking for a fast start, knowing that the wet conditions from the West Coast game may produce some weary Tigers as the game wore on. His opposite number Leon Cameron would have been looking for quick delivery into young GWS “twin towers” Jonathon Patton and Tom Boyd, hoping to use the height advantage of the young forwards.

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Richmond Tougher In Wet

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Richmond continued to show some late season form in the second half of Round 18, winning their fourth consecutive game in a tough encounter on the road against the West Coast Eagles. The match was reduced to a scrum at times with rain falling in torrential bursts, but the Tigers were better in the awful conditions and made the most of their opportunities in a game that was never really in doubt after Richmond got away to a solid start.
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Tigers Upset Power

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Just a month ago Port Adelaide was on top of the AFL ladder with dreams of a home Final all but in their keeping. Since then, losses to Sydney, Adelaide and Essendon have seen the Power drop to third on the AFL Ladder and in danger of dropping out of the Top Four. Coming up against Richmond would have seemingly been just what Port needed, with the Tigers - despite coming off a two game winning streak against lowly Brisbane and St Kilda – not yet having beaten a team above them on the Ladder all season. With the game being played at Etihad Stadium with the roof closed, most experts were tipping that Port’s extra leg speed would prove too much for an inconsistent Tiger outfit that had struggled against the quicker teams in 2014. The optimistic Tiger fan might have pointed to Richmond’s strong record against Port in recent times, winning two of their last four games with a draw in between. Nathan Foley started as the substitute in the green vest for Richmond while fellow on-baller Kane Mitchell assumed the same role for Port Adelaide.
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Swans Nine In A Row Over Tigers

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Premiership favorites the Sydney Swans were on the back of an eight game winning streak when they faced a Richmond team fighting for respect during a nightmare season that has seen them slump to a 3-9 record. The Tigers' struggles were reflected in a poor MCG crowd of just under 35,000 fans, many of them supporting the juggernaut Swans and their ten million dollar recruit, Lance “Buddy” Franklin. For Sydney it was a chance to shine on the MCG, a venue the Swans must be hoping to grace later in 2014 for the biggest day on the Australian sporting calendar, the AFL Grand Final.
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