Richmond and Geelong have contrasting grand final plans

Richmond and Geelong have contrasting grand final plans

They are both based on the Gold Coast, but Richmond and Geelong will take different approaches to their preparation for the AFL grand final in Brisbane.

Both teams are based in hubs on the Gold Coast, and the Cats have made the call to stay there and travel an hour up the road to Brisbane on game day.

But the Tigers will drive up on Friday evening, stay in a hotel and treat the grand final as an away match.

They will gather for a team meeting in the morning before leaving players to their own devices for a few hours before the bounce down.

Several factors, including the possibility of heavy traffic, have played a role in Richmond’s decision to head up early.

“The last time we drove was an hour and a half up there and some of our performances at the Gabba haven’t been our best – Sydney, Gold Coast, even the Brisbane game,” Tigers assistant coach Justin Leppitsch said.

“We feel maybe there are some things in our preparation that we can do a little better.

“It was a combination of factors and our leaders really bought into it and wanted to drive it.

“We’re in an away bed anyway, whether it’s here on the Gold Coast or up in Brisbane, and we just felt that’s our best preparation going into the game.”

For Geelong, it won’t be much different to making their regular one-hour drive to Melbourne on game day under normal circumstances.

“We’ll be staying here (on the Gold Coast) and from what I understand we’ll keep it pretty much the same,” Cats spearhead Tom Hawkins said.

In contrast to Richmond, Geelong have played some of their best football at the Gabba this season and appear to have taken to the ground well.

The Tigers opted to play a ‘home’ final at Metricon Stadium a fortnight ago but Leppitsch doesn’t see any disadvantage being at the Gabba.

“One thing I noticed from watching all Geelong’s games there is they’ve been able to get the game on their own terms, which you can do at any venue,” he said.

“It just so happens they’ve done it really well, particularly the last couple of times, on that ground.

“More than just the venue itself, it’s a matter of making sure we get the game on our terms and I’m sure they’ll want it on theirs.

“That’s going to be the real arm wrestle.”