Round Table: Will Dusty end his career as the AFL's GOAT?

Our experts debate all the hot topics and burning questions after Richmond secured a third premiership in four years.

Did the night Grand Final work? Should the AFL persist with it in 2021?

Niall Seewang: I'm torn on this one. Plenty worked on the night but the build-up left me pretty frustrated and it just didn't 'feel' like Grand Final day (although the fact it was in Brisbane not Melbourne could be a major reason for that). The AFL will pore over the broadcast figures and I fear, if the numbers are strong, we'll never see a day GF again. Maybe a twilight decider could be the best of both worlds? It'd be worth taking a look at that option before deciding one way or another.

Jake Michaels: There were so many unusual factors contributing to the 2020 Grand Final, so I don't think you can solely judge the viability of a night decider on just this. But for what it's worth, I like it. I don't get the criticism that it's too long to wait. It's a night game. What do you expect!? The entertainment was probably a step up and the game was exciting, not sure what more fans want. Victorians, when things are back to normal and the game is at the MCG, you'll love a night Grand Final.

Matt Walsh: I'll keep it pretty simple - yes, it did work, but no, they shouldn't persist with it. This was an extraordinary year that was only possible due to the extraordinary circumstances. There's something magical about a 2.30pm bounce at the MCG - the shorter build-up that's still just long enough. The ability to revel in the result and still make an evening of things afterwards is also underrated. If you're more focused on the half time or pre-game entertainment, then I've got some advice for you; there are these wonderful things called 'gigs', where you can see artists perform sets up to two hours' long! Let's not pander only to the broadcasters chasing what would be maybe a few thousand more eyeballs on TVs. We've got something great (and unique!) in a day-time decider. I used to think a night Grand Final was the way forward but not anymore

Will Dustin Martin end his career as the AFL's GOAT?

NS: It's getting hard to ignore the argument now. I think he can lay claim to be the all-time greatest finals player, if not the greatest (although Leigh Matthews has to be in the conversation) but he's still not quite up there with Wayne Carey and Co. yet. I mark modern-day midfielders a bit harder than key forwards though, as they rarely cop a tag and can run around freely, even on Grand Final day!

JM: I said he was damn close before the 2020 Grand Final got underway. Now that it's over, and if we solely judge on achievements, he is the best player of all time. However, I don't think that's the best way to rank players. Right now, he's a top 10 player of all time and the best big-game player the sport has ever seen - don't even try and argue against that.

MW: He's making a claim for it already, so in three or four more years I think he's almost a certainty. He's now the best ever big-game player the game has seen, that much you can't dispute. In Grand Finals, he averages 24 disposals, three goals, a premiership medal and a Norm Smith Medal. In all finals, he's kicked 26.11 - as a midfielder. He's incredible, and those who say he won't be the GOAT may be romanticising past names a little too much...

Lions, Cats, Hawks, Tigers - which is the best dynasty team since 2000?

NS: This is incredibly difficult to answer. I'm always loathe to compare players and teams from different eras because it's impossible to truly get a complete picture. I still think the Lions of the early 2000s are the best I've seen, simply through their physical intimidation, talent and scoring firepower. The Tigers might be just behind them, but who'd back against them claiming another next year and pushing themselves ahead of the pack?

JM: Call it recency bias, but I think this current Tigers team is now the best of the modern era. Like the Lions, Cats and Hawks (yeah, I'm excluding the 2008 flag which came five years before the others), the Tigers have three premierships, but to win in 2020, in such a bizarre season that saw them have no home ground advantage and a host of off-field dramas, is nothing short of spectacular. Take a bow, Trent and Dimma. This team is something special.

MW: Love the recency bias call above but it is true. I don't think any other dynasty team has dominated their Grand Finals as much as the Tigers have theirs. Their 31-point win over Geelong was their closest Granny result, and even that didn't really show off just how dominant they were, kicking 10 of the final 12 goals of the game. To think, they're a Mason Cox blinder in the 2018 preliminary final away from having won four straight!

What was the biggest surprise of the 2020 Grand Final?

NS: It has to be Patrick Dangerfield's lack of impact, and I don't put all the blame on his shoulders, either. The fact he spent so long deep in attack (which has to be an instruction from his coaches) meant he couldn't get involved for long stretches. When he did have opportunities, he had an 'almost game' - dropping marks he could have taken and missing shots and targets. Twelve touches for the game (and four turnovers) is very unDangerfield-like.

JM: It has to be Chris Scott's bizarre and pretty frustrating reluctance to play Patrick Dangerfield in the midfield - where he is best suited. Danger spent the majority of the night doing not much in the forward line and was forced to watch on as Richmond superstar Martin led his side back into the contest and eventually to a third flag in four years. Chris, you just need to give up on the Danger-playing-forward dream. He's a midfielder, for goodness sake.

MW: Tom Hawkins, who was the Coleman medallist, was a real let down, and surprisingly so. He kicked a solitary goal (and two behinds from gettable kicks, including one bizarre decision to play on and snap from a set shot), and according to the AFL Player Ratings, he was the third worst player on the ground (not including injured Tiger Nick Vlastuin). In fact, he had three quarters with a negative rating (with his second quarter the only positive quarter he had). Also, Leigh Matthews awarding two votes to Nathan Broad in the Norm Smith Medal votes was ... erm, surprising as well! He ended up admitting to making a mistake on Sunday morning - come on, Lethal!