Russell Barwick’s 2017 AFL Grand Final Preview: Tigers Tornado To Get Blown Away By Crows


Adelaide v Richmond | Saturday, September 30, 2.30pm (AEST), MCG, Melbourne 

The 2017 Grand Final might not be the grand final we all predicted, but it’s not a bad one is it?

1st v 3rd, lots of big gun players with so much at stake.

Victoria vs South Australia, first premiership in 20 years vs first in 35.

Not one player who has been there before. 

Dusty (pictured above) rightly wins the Brownlow and now has to spend the new few days doing the media stuff. 

Somehow, I don’t think it will worry him after listening to his thoughts after the win.

He just goes out and kicks a footy. Kicks it pretty well mind you.

I’ve never seen a bloke play footy like him, the stiff arm don’t argue followed by a bullet like pass off the left or right boot is truly something to watch.

He must fire but you suspect he will and good luck to the Crows player who has the job of stopping him.

Equally good luck to the Tigers player who must stop Eddie Betts (pictured below) or Rory Sloane.

Both prelims were one act affairs in the last half with Adelaide’s demolition job of Geelong one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen at this time of the year.

Can they take that form on the virgin flight to Melbourne? 

Charlie Cameron kicked five last week and promptly became the X factor.

The problem is Charlie is now called the X factor which kind of doesn’t make him the X factor because he’s got the extra attention.

This means for mine that Eddie Betts is back to being the most dangerous player on the field as he had a quietish night last week.

That won’t happen again.

Tex Walker is a star and a captain who leads from the front.

So too does Richmond captain Trent Cotchin (pictured below) and little point getting into the should he or shouldn’t he, because he is and he was always going to be playing.

The grand final at the MCG will mean something for some players and something else for others. 

You live and die by how good you go on this particular day.

The fact that none of these men have played a grand final before cancels the pressure thing out. 

Richmond have played in front of 95,000 the last two weeks, so that’s an advantage to them, albeit slight.

Aside from being a fan of the teams involved, the majority of the football world is saying heart vs head.

Richmond are the fairytale story and Melbourne will go nuts if they win.

Try getting into Crown at 10pm Saturday night, or any pub or club for that matter.

Adelaide are the best team, but will they win?

It’s flip of the coin stuff for me but I have to go for the Crows.

The work they've done in the past two games you can't ignore.

They had both games won at quarter time and if they do that this week, it will be an anti-climax for Tigers fans.

KEY BATTLE:  The key battles are many…

Eddie vs ?, Tex vs Rance, Sloane vs ?, Dusty vs ?, Jack vs ?

But for all of those, Adelaide still have Josh Jenkins, Matt Crouch, Brad Crouch and Charlie Cameron (pictured above) and if they get off the leash then the Crows should be winning.

The Verdict

Unfortunately, this will be a blowout with the Crows’ forward line worthy of 20 goals and the last quarter could get ugly.

Crows by 40 plus 

Unibet Odds: Adelaide 1.68 Richmond 2.20

Tip: Adelaide

Line tip: Adelaide -5.5 

First goal scorer Adelaide: Taylor Walker 

First goal scorer Richmond: Jason Castagna 

Norm Smith Medal: Eddie Betts, Rory Sloane (pictured above)

Enjoy the game….see you in 2018! 

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