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AFL Preview 2021 Port Adel and Richmond

2020 FINISHED MINOR PREMIER 14 wins 3 losses  (3rd after finals)


Port Adelaide has boldly declared as part of its 5 year plan that it aims to win 3 flags in the next 5 years. This is about as bold a statement as you can make given their chequered performance since joining the AFL. Time will tell but from our point of view it just puts pressure on a group that just has not handled it.

It was the inability to handle the big time pressure of a big final that could very well have cost Port Adelaide the 2020 premiership. Port Adelaide barely put a foot wrong all year as they fully embraced the hub winning matches early. They were terrific all year winning the minor premiership with a 14-3 win-loss record. They won their first final securing a home Prelim however failed narrowly at that hurdle and missed the big dance with basic mistakes costly.

Can Port Adelaide recreate last year and go one better? Port have talented youth that have really stood up and their form has been first class can they hold this level will be a key. Can Dixon be strong and dominant up forward for a second straight year or will, as has been his historic pattern, put in a sub par year.

Can coach of the year Hinkley hold his nerve finishing top and losing a final? Port were a “victim” (as were Brisbane) of there own success since the introduction of the pre finals bye. 6 of the last 10 Qualifying finals winners have failed to make the Grand Final with only 2 games in a month. The AFL need to look at this make but no mistake Port are in the window. They have a strong coaching group and the player depth is in good shape, can they stand up?


2020 FINISHED 3rd 12 wins 4 losses 1 draw (WON PREMIERSHIP)


The Tigers climbed to the top of the AFL mountain AGAIN in 2020. It was a brilliant effort by a club that had controversy follow it off field for a lot of the year. Dusty Martin got himself going producing a 3rd Norm Smith medal cementing him as a big time all time great.

The question mark over the Tigers for 2021 is Hunger and cohesion. The Tigers have won 3 of the last 4 flags and there has to be a question mark over their hunger to do it all again. Particularly when post season Damian Hardwick signalled that he would have a late start to pre season and as it had been a “big few years” this is an insight to his thoughts.

As it turns out Hardwick returned at the same time as the players no doubt wanting to address his marriage breakdown. This is another very important aspect to play out in Richmond’s season, it seems Damian Hardwick has some fences to mend with his “new” relationship with a co-worker raising eyebrows. Richmond has spoken about being the “family” club and this is surely going to test the Tigers. That said the ship appears solid enough but we are about top find out.

They have super talent and are a hungry side that play a high pressure offensive game. When going no body hunts the ball and oppo with the ball as well as Richmond. Richmond is in unknown area for an AFL team as the very nature of the competition makes it all so difficult to do what they have done. Doing it again in 2021 would be a masterstroke of Hardwick, Gale, Martin and Co. We think they will challenge but likely slide and history supports this and on the assumption that sides will be hungrier.