Friday 21st September 2018

Event of the Day: Richmond Versus Collingwood, AFL Preliminary Final

Our event of the day is the AFL preliminary final between Richmond and Collingwood at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. With the teams now just one game away from the Grand Final next weekend, the stakes could not be higher. Unsurprisingly, a huge crowd is expected for this highly anticipated clash. This is the first time the two sides have met in the finals since the 1980 Grand Final, where Richmond surged to an 81-point win. Reigning champions Richmond topped the AFL ladder relatively comprehensively, before defeating Hawthorn 13.17 (95) – 9.10 (64) in the qualifying final to reach this stage. Collingwood meanwhile finished third, 12 points behind today’s opponents. The Magpies narrowly lost their qualifying final tie to West Coast, before beating Greater Western Sydney by 10 points to set up today’s encounter with the Tigers. Richmond have emerged victorious on both occasions that the sides have met this year. Looking to become consecutive premiers for the first time since 1974, they certainly go into the fixture as big favourites.
However, Collingwood have displayed incredible resilience and character to reach an unexpected preliminary final. Having finished a lowly 13th last year, few would have tipped the Magpies to be on the brink of their first Grand Final since 2011. This is even more impressive when considering the injury ravaged campaign they have endured. Interestingly, they find themselves in the same position that Richmond went on to claim the title from last season. Collingwood have continually defied the odds this season. Can they do it one more time? With the greatest prize in AFL within touching distance, a fantastic spectacle is in store.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NRL preliminary final between Melbourne Storm and the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at AAMI Park. The two sides finished level on points in the NRL ladder, however the Sharks have had the better of Storm during their two meetings this season. Meanwhile in rugby union, Newcastle Falcons take on Exeter Chiefs at Kingston Park in the Gallagher Premiership. Elsewhere in the UK, it’s Day 4 of second placed Somerset versus County Championship Division One champions Surrey at the Cooper Associates County Ground. Top class tennis comes from Seoul, with day 5 of the Korea Open on the WTA World Tour. Further women’s tennis action comes from Japan, where the fifth day of the Toray Pan Pacific Open, and China, where the Guangzhou Open continues. The ATP World Tour stops off in St Petersburg and Metz. Additional world class sport in France can be found at the Stade Louis II, where Monaco play Nimes in Ligue 1. In La Liga, SD Huesca host Real Sociedad, and in the Bundesliga, Fortuna Düsseldorf travel to Stuttgart. Sassuolo welcome Empoli in Serie A, and De Graafschap are away to Heracles Almelo in the Eredivisie. The second day of action at the Portugal Masters gets underway on the European Tour at Oceanico Victoria, and the PGA Tour Championship continues in Atlanta. In New York, the Yankees will look to boost their chances of securing a wildcard for the playoffs, as they play the Baltimore Orioles in the first match in a three game MLB series.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Collingwood; Richmond
***Day 4 of second placed Somerset versus champions Surrey has been called off after damage to the wicket at the Cooper Associates County Ground caused by Storm Bronagh.***

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