Geelong coach Chris Scott always had a suspicion for his team to win this year's AFL premiership, they'd need to beat Richmond somewhere along the way.
After so many near misses in recent seasons, the Cats will play their first grand final in nine years at the Gabba on Saturday.
Standing in their way is the dominant force of recent seasons, a Tigers team chasing a third flag in the past four years.
With all credit to the competition's other teams, Scott said it was clear to most any success would involve stopping the Tigers at some point.
"We haven't been arrogant enough to think that we've got everyone else covered bar Richmond, it's really difficult to get to this stage in the first place, but I guess in the back of their mind it's been really clear that Richmond have been the best team," Scott said.
"If you're gonna win a premiership you're more than likely going to have to beat them.
"We're aware that our system is always going to have to stand up against them and we've got a degree of confidence that that's the case but the execution piece is so much harder than the planning.
"Working out what to do is pretty easy, actually being able to execute it against the best in a pressurised situation is much, much harder."
Earlier in 2020 Scott harboured a belief the Tigers had the air of a team that may have started a slide from their pinnacle.
That feeling was dispelled when Richmond claimed a 26-point win over the Cats in round 17 at Metricon Stadium, a result which means Geelong have won just one of their past six matches against the Tigers.
Both teams were missing key players for that game in early September.
The Cats were without skipper Joel Selwood, superstar Gary Ablett and hard-running forward Gary Rohan while the Tigers were missing premiership players Shane Edwards, David Astbury and Dion Prestia and lost ruckman Ivan Soldo early to a season-ending knee injury.
All bar Soldo will feature in Sunday's grand final, giving both teams a much different look than the last time they met but Scott said there was still plenty his team could learn from that encounter.
"We always look at the last game. I think every team does, you'd be crazy not to," Scott said.
"There's different personnel. They've got a few really good players that didn't play and so have we.
"They played really well in that game, and we didn't play as well as we would have liked to.
"We would like to think that the game would be played differently. Look, if it is played the same way the advantage is certainly with them."
Australian Associated Press