Dylan Grimes and Trent Cotchin hi-five fans after their Qualifying Final win. Picture: Bradley Kanaris
Dylan Grimes and Trent Cotchin hi-five fans after their Qualifying Final win. Picture: Bradley Kanaris

The inspiration behind Richmond’s Gabba fightback

Richmond is using the dozen teams no longer in contention as inspiration for its push to a third-straight home preliminary final.

Star onballer Dion Prestia has revealed the psychology behind the Tigers' blistering nine-goal pile-on in Saturday night's qualifying final victory at the Gabba, which helped deliver the premiership favourites a week off and an MCG clash against either West Coast or Geelong.

But he said a reminder from the skipper had helped to reinvigorate the group after it trailed at quarter-time and that those now watching on would continue to push the Tigers' hopes.

 

 

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"(When we were behind), Trent kept getting us in and saying 'just have a smile'," Prestia said.

"(He was saying) we knew it was going to be like this, and there's only two goals the difference'.

"They probably did dominate the first quarter, but it was good just to get back together and refresh after that first quarter and the way we were playing after that was pretty good.

"You just talk about how many other players at other teams want to be in our position. You just kind of enjoy it.

 

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Captain Trent Cotchin encouraged his teammates to enjoy the finals opportunity. Picture: Michael Willson.
Captain Trent Cotchin encouraged his teammates to enjoy the finals opportunity. Picture: Michael Willson.

"(Brisbane assistant coach Jed) Adcock said something about Brisbane enjoying the moment, and it was exactly what we do every week.

"It's having fun and to play in another prelim final is amazing and we're just so lucky to be in this situation."

Prestia, 26, gathered a game-high 32 disposals and 10 tackles in what was the Tigers' first interstate finals victory.

He has been battling achilles soreness in recent weeks, conceding it was "pretty sore" over the bye weekend.

Such an injury can be troublesome and Prestia admitted there had been reminders of horror stories, but Saturday night's performance had boosted his confidence.

"Being able to manage it (in the bye week) was the best thing. I was still able to train three or four times … but it was pretty sore," he said.

"We go again hopefully two more times.

"I always think of when (basketballer) Kobe Bryant snapped his achilles … but I've been able to manage it over the last couple of weeks and (how I played) gave me a lot of confidence going into the prelim.

 

Dion Prestia (right) has greater confident in his body after a strong showing on Saturday. Picture: Michael Klein.
Dion Prestia (right) has greater confident in his body after a strong showing on Saturday. Picture: Michael Klein.

"Being able just to play the way I did and change direction and going on long runs is probably the hardest thing and you've got to think about it. I'm really happy with how it's going."

Richmond will face either West Coast or Geelong in its home preliminary final in a fortnight and might be favourite to win this year's premiership, but Prestia stopped short of declaring the feeling was similar to that of the team's 2017 glory.

"I don't want to jinx us or anything," he smiled.

"Having the week off will be good to see who we come up against.

"We obviously got West Coast a couple of weeks ago (in Round 22) and Geelong knocked us off in the middle of the year, so it should be very interesting that game."