Martin the AFL grand final king once more

Norm Smith Medallist Dustin Martin booted four goals in the Tigers' grand final win over Geelong.
Norm Smith Medallist Dustin Martin booted four goals in the Tigers' grand final win over Geelong.

Geelong's Patrick Dangerfield may be a genuine AFL superstar but when it comes to grand finals, there's no-one in the game like Dustin Martin.

The Richmond forward was once again the game-breaker for the Tigers in Saturday's 31-point win over the Cats at the Gabba.

While Dangerfield, playing his first grand final in his 13th AFL season, had his moments, it was Martin who lifted the Tigers to a third flag in four years.

The 29-year-old kicked a game-high four goals, including one in the final term where he intercepted a pass to Dangerfield before eluding the Geelong star's tackle and snapping home across his body.

It was a goal which fittingly sealed the Tigers' win as he became the first player in history to win three Norm Smith Medals.

Dangerfield was more noticeable in the early stages, the 30-year-old Cat seizing the chance to play in a grand final after 268 AFL matches.

Dangerfield's accidental elbow knocked out Richmond defender Nick Vlastuin - forcing the two-time premiership Tiger out of the game with just five minutes on the clock.

He then slotted his 300th AFL goal in the second quarter during the Cats' best period of the game as they raced to a 22-point lead.

Late in that term however, it was Martin who sparked the Tigers' comeback.

Largely shackled by the Cats' defence to that point, Martin pounced on a loose ball to snap home off his right foot and end a run of five unanswered goals by Geelong.

He then kicked a stunning long-range goal - the Tigers' fourth of the third quarter - to put Richmond ahead for the first time since the opening quarter.

Two more goals in the final term ensured Martin's status as the king of AFL grand finals.

Australian Associated Press