After a troubled start to the 2014 season, Richmond found themselves in 16th position with a four and nine record after 14 rounds. Port Adelaide were the polar opposite, sitting on top of the ladder with just two losses.
For both teams, their seasons would take dramatic turns from this point. The Tigers would win eight of their last ten matches to storm into the finals in eighth place. The Power on the other hand would lose seven of their last ten to stagger into the finals after letting slip their stranglehold on a top four position.
As a result their elimination final was seen as an intriguing match up. How far could momentum take the surging Tigers in September? Could home field advantage, and a rare opportunity to wear their prison bar jersey, help the Power rediscover their early season form and play a big role in the finals.
What unfolded was beyond what anybody, with the exception of the most fanatical Power supporters, could possibly have imagined. Taking full advantage of Richmond Captain Trent Cotchin’s baffling decision to kick against the breeze upon winning the toss, Port produced a withering opening to the match. In 17 electrifying minutes they kicked seven unanswered goals and all but secured their passage to the second week of the finals.
By the long break the margin was 69-points, the third highest margin at half-time in a final, and the only interest was what records could be broken by the final siren. Instead, Richmond was able to salvage some pride by outscoring their hosts eight goals to six after the break but it did little to dull the delight of the Port faithful.
Ken Hinkley’s men would back up the following week in Perth to eliminate the Dockers and set up a Preliminary Final appointment with the Hawks. In a modern day finals classic, they very nearly put an end to the Hawthorn dynasty. A final quarter surge, that saw them kick the last four goals of the game, had them within touching distance of a Grand Final berth before the final siren put an end to their unlikely premiership charge.