Star Lion a worry for Tigers in AFL finals

Lachie Neale is all but certain to be named in the All-Australian team.
Lachie Neale is all but certain to be named in the All-Australian team.

Lachie Neale's personal-best performance has given Richmond plenty to think about ahead of their AFL qualifying-final rematch at the Gabba.

Neale racked up a career-high 51 disposals on Sunday to be the Lions' best in a gutsy 12.10 (82) to 8.7 (55) defeat at the MCG.

The Brownlow Medal frontrunner also had 14 clearances to spearhead the Lions' dominance in that area.

Sunday's result means the Tigers finish third on the ladder and face the second-placed Lions at the Gabba in a mouth-watering rematch in week one of the finals.

The Lions have lost only once at the Gabba this season and the Tigers will be desperate to prevent a repeat of Neale's individual heroics.

Coach Damien Hardwick praised Neale's "incredible" performance during the second and third quarters when the Lions fought their way back into the game.

"We'll have a look at it, there's no doubt," he said.

"He's very agile in and around the stoppages. His agility can get him in and out of traffic pretty quickly but it also means you're reactive as well.

"It's a bit of a double-edged sword in a way, where you can be a little bit dictated to as well. Whether we back in our boys, we'll have a look at it and make a better assessment."

Neale is all but certain to be named in the All-Australian team and so is teammate Charlie Cameron, having finished the home-and-away season with 54 goals after booting two majors in a relatively quiet performance on Sunday.

The livewire forward had a fascinating battle with star Tigers backman Dylan Grimes, who walked a fine line with his grappling techniques.

"It's really hard from where I sit (coaching from the bench) to see whether it was legal or illegal," Lions coach Chris Fagan said.

"We'll have a look at that and see and if we think there's something there for the umpiring department to have a look at, we'll ask them to have a look at it.

"They're pretty good at doing that sort of stuff but I couldn't sit here and honestly give an opinion."

Australian Associated Press