Richmond revival excites the yellow and black army
IF ever there was a time for romance in the AFL, the time is now, and the Richmond Football Club has delivered.
It is the ultimate fairytale story, the Tigers were down and out at the halfway mark of the season.
The Tiger army finally has something to look forward to in September.
Few fans backed them, they were badly out of form, their leaders weren't standing up when questions were being asked about and their coaches and officials were under-fire.
Nine wins later and they are facing an elimination final against Port Adelaide.
After so many years of finishing ninth on the ladder and failing to make finals year after year, the Tiger army finally has something to look forward to in September.
It is an amazing turnaround.
The fight showed by Richmond in the final quarter against Sydney proved it has what it takes to compete against the league's better teams.
They showed intent from the outset, racing out to a big lead in the opening quarter.
But the Swans fought their way back into the match.
In the last quarter it was anybody's game.
Richmond wanted it more, their season was on the line.
Losing wasn't an option.
Dustin Martin did what he does best, he always seems to be in the right place at the right time in big games.
Brett Deledio (pictured) seems to be enjoying his time up forward and backman Alex Rance, who should be in All-Australian contention, was again outstanding.
Damian Hardwick said after the game the players have never wavered from their belief that they could make finals.
The team's belief and confidence to get the job done has inspired Richmond's young guns and reignited the passion of its veterans.
Last year's shock elimination final to Carlton would have stung the Richmond faithful, but now they are believing again.
It is a shame we won't get to see the Tigers light up the MCG this weekend infront of a home crowd, but I have no doubt Richmond's supporters will make the journey to Adelaide and cheer on their team.
They are not without a chance of defeating Port Adelaide.
The Power played strongly against Fremantle on the weekend, but have only won five of its past 12 games.
Their exciting young players, Ollie Wines, Chad Wingard and Hamish Hartlett will need to step up to the challenge, because the Tigers are in brilliant form.
Power fans have made Adelaide Oval a fortress this year and I am sure they will make it a hostile environment for the Tigers on Sunday afternoon.
It should be a thrilling game of football.
I am tipping the Tigers to get over the line in a tight game.
I have jumped on the bandwagon and hope they can do it for their fans, there aren't many other fans more deserving of finals glory than the Tigers.