Richmond has roared loudest on Grand Final night, defeating Geelong by 31 points in a gripping and brutal game at the Gabba to win their third premiership in four years.
In what was a fantastic contest from start to the finish filled with momentum swings, spectacular goals and crunching hits, the Tigers took control in a critical last quarter to run out deserved winners in the end.
It was only fitting that Dustin Martin had the defining say in a big game once again, with his third goal coming in the fourth quarter after he launched from outside 50 to give his side a 22-point lead with less than eight minutes to play.
He then kicked the most unbelivable of goals from the boundary line in the dying seconds of the game, shrugging off Patrick Dangerfield and booting it home to send Tigers fans into raptures.
It’s scarcely believable just how good of a footballer he is.
"It's the stuff of legends," Gerard Whateley said on AFL Nation.
"The dynasty is before us. It's Richmond's crowning glory. It is greatness for everyone else to chase."
Terry Wallace said Martin is one of the best players he's ever seen.
"There's only one person I can compare Dustin Martin to and that's Leigh Matthews," he said.
"In big moments, they're the best two that I've seen."
The story all night also on centred on Gary Ablett in his final game of footy, who was injured early and toiled throughout the remainder of the match, even as every tackle saw him grimace in pain.
Jayden Short deserves plenty of praise as well, finding the ball on 25 occasions and laying six tackles.
We are living in Dustin Martin’s world #AFLGF— Charles Cameron (@CharlesRanger23) October 24, 2020
Here’s everything you need to know!
The early chaos: Injuries and pitch invaders
The first quarter was barely believable, with both Gary Ablett and Nick Vlastuin suffering early injuries.
While Ablett returned after a Trent Cotchin tackle saw his shoulder come off second best, Vlasutin didn’t take any further part in the game after an errant Patrick Dangerfield elbow saw him leave the ground on the stretcher with concussion.
Then came two pitch invaders, which also saw a momentary stop to the game later in the opening term.
The first minutes of the 2020 Grand Final were anything but boring.
The legacy premiership: Richmond do it again
One premiership is an incredible achievement, two in a short space of time is nothing short of memorable and a third is the legacy premiership, cementing a side as one of the game’s greatest.
Like Brisbane from 2001 to 2003, Geelong between 2007 and 2011, Hawthorn between 2013 to 2015 and now Richmond’s three flags in four years from 2017 to 2020, Damien Hardwick’s side now deserves to be in the conversation as the best side to play in the 21st century.
While their 2017 premiership was a fairytale and 2019’s success was won on the back of resilience after a mid-year slump largely due to injury, the 2020 flag for Richmond is arguably their most significant triumph.
This was a year where they conquered all manner of setbacks, be it on the field through injury or off the field – most notably when two players were sent home and the club fined after breaking COVID rules.
But they prevailed, cementing their place as one of the great teams in the AFL era.
The final farewell: Ablett bows out
Going out in a losing Grand Final side wasn’t the result that Gary Ablett would’ve wanted but nonetheless, it’s hard to quantify just how good the club stalwart has been throughout two separate stints at the Cats.
Originally a midfielder, Ablett’s transformation in recent years as a forward has added another dimension to his game and his contribution to hi side's Preliminary Final win over Brisbane won’t be forgotten for a while.
357 games and out. Ablett’s place as one of the club’s greatest ever players is secured.
One last thing
The AFL took the plunge and scheduled this year’s Grand Final at night for the first time in history.
And while the reviews were mixed for the pre-game show, there was almost universal praise for the show put on by Brisbane-based band Sheppard at half time, who sung two of their hits in Coming Home and Geronimo to the backdrop of a light show both in the air and in the stands.
Even if the time slot changes again next year and reverts to a start earlier in the day, a half time show at night would be something the AFL should be seriously considering after an impressive performance on Saturday night.
Richmond: 2.1, 3.2, 7.4, 12.9 (81)
Geelong: 2.2, 5.5, 6.8, 7.8 (50)
Richmond: Martin 4, Riewoldt 2, Prestia 2, Castagna, Lynch, Lambert, McIntosh
Geelong: Menegola 2, Hawkins, Dangerfield, Guthrie, Miers, Duncan
Richmond: Martin, Edwards, Short, Bolton, Cotchin, Riewoldt
Geelong: Duncan, Selwood, Stewart
Richmond: Nick Vlastuin (concussion)
Geelong: Gary Ablett (shoulder), Sam Simpson (concussion)
Crowd: 29,707 at The Gabba.