Australia reacts to Dustin Martin freak show in historic AFL Grand Final performance

It’s quickly becoming the Richmond Tigers dynasty that Dustin Martin built as the superstar claimed his third Norm Smith Medal by putting on a masterclass in Saturday night’s AFL Grand Final.

Martin claimed all five three-point votes as the unanimous winner of the best on ground award as Richmond beat Geelong by 31 points in Brisbane.

Kayo is your ticket to the best sport streaming Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

The Tigers have now claimed three titles in four years, coming from 22 points down just before halftime to topple the Cats.

But in the decider of a season unlike any before, it appeared the 12.9 (81) to 7.8 (50) win meant more than most.

While there has been plenty of questions over whether the 2020 season would be tarred with an asterisk in the history books, the look on the face of Martin when he embraced Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said it all.

After being quarantined in the AFL bubble for nearly 110 days, the relief was clear on Martin’s face as he rested his head on his coach’s shoulder.

Dustin Martin looked near tears when embracing his coach.Source:Channel 7

Social media was quick to react to the image and the Tigers’ incredible achievement.

Asterisk smashterisk. Season of attrition and resilience. pic.twitter.com/bP3NdzvmPf

2017 was pure elation
2019 was redemption
2020 was the toughest/sweetest
🐯 #aflgf

This is the silver lining to 2020! What a performance! It’s time for a Dusty statue. #yellowandblack

#AFLGF #gotiges pic.twitter.com/mcsvfgVK7T

What a moment between Dusty and Dimma. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/7XeIJRTht8

After the presentation, Martin still didn’t know what to say.

“It still doesn’t feel real,” he said on Channel 7. “I don’t know what to say. I’m just so grateful to be a part of such an unbelievable group. I’m lost for words to be honest.

“It’s been a tough road. I couldn’t be prouder of the way we faced a bit of adversity this year and the way we stuck at it. That’s why we’re a great club.”

Martin became just the second player behind Barry Cable to have 20 disposals and multiple goals in three Grand Finals, as he booted four majors to go with 21 touches.

Most Prelims + Grand Finals with 20 disposals and 2 goals:

6x DUSTIN MARTIN
5x
4x Barry Cable, Tim Watson
3x 10 players
2x 25 players
1x 109 players

2017 PF/GF
2019 PF/GF
2020 PF/GF#AFLTigersCats #AFLFinals @Richmond_FC

The result sees Martin become the first three-time winner of the Norm Smith Medal after a virtuoso performance.

He kicked his first major to get the Tigers back into the game after dropping 22 points behind in the second quarter.

Martin also landed a massive goal to snatch the lead in the third term, before wrapping it up with two late goals in the fourth, kicking from beyond the 50m arc into an empty goalsquare with just under eight minutes left before snapping around the corner to make it a 30-point game with a minute remaining.

Dustin Martin — take a bow.Source:News Corp Australia

SEN’s Gerard Whateley said it best: “Dusty in a Grand Final, it’s just the vibe.”

Social media went insane for the biggest of big game players as he came up huge again.

2011 Brownlow Medallist Dane Swan said “There is now clearly no doubt about it now that Dustin is the greatest big game player ever. Him and Jordan sit at the same table”.

Newcastle Herald deputy editor Xavier Mardling tweeted: “Clearly the best of Dusty’s three grand finals, I reckon. Hope (Jordan) De Goey is watching. That’s how you earn big money.”

AAP journalist Michael Ramsey added: “Dusty stamps himself as the player of his generation. Incredible and pretty much the difference between these two teams”.

Dusty literally has an NBA presence, amazing 1/22 can have such an influence when it counts#NormSmithMedal

Dusty is otherworldly #AFLGF

Dustin Martin is reaching ‘Norm Smith medallist even in a losing side’ territory here #afl

NORM SMITH VOTING

15 – Dustin Martin (Richmond) – 33333

6 – Jayden Short (Richmond) – 222

4 – Shane Edwards (Richmond) – 1111

3 – Mitch Duncan (Geelong) – 21

2 – Nathan Broad (Richmond) – 2

Threes across the board!#AFLGF pic.twitter.com/kU37pE5P1d

Source: Read Full Article