Swingman Harry Taylor became one of the very few players to get the better of Alex Rance when Geelong extended their winning streak against Richmond to 13 games last month.
Ahead of Friday night’s massive qualifying final, Tigers’ coach Damien Hardwick is confident that lightning won’t strike twice.
With regular spearhead Tom Hawkins missing through suspension, Taylor went forward at Simonds Stadium back in round 21 and booted a match-winning four-goal haul opposing the four-time All-Australian defender.
“Champion players often respond,” Hardwick said on Thursday.
“I think I’ve seen (Rance) lose four one-on-one contests in his career and I I think three of them were on that day.
“Harry is a really good player as well, so we expect that similar match-up to occur.
“We learnt some lessons from that, Alex will certainly learn some lessons.
“He’s a very proud man.
“We know he’s got a role to play that’s important for us and if he plays that role it certainly increases our chances of winning.”
With Hawkins back in the Cats’ line-up, it is unclear where Geelong coach Chris Scott will choose to deploy Taylor at the MCG on Friday night.
Tom Lonergan is likely to get first crack at Richmond’s only genuine key forward Jack Riewoldt, so there is scope to again switch Taylor into attack.
The Tigers’ most recent finals victory was way back in 2001 against Carlton.
But Hardwick is confident the 2017 Richmond team, one he labelled “by far the best side I’ve coached”, is playing the type of hard-nosed, contested football which is tailor-made for September success.
“Defensively we are an incredible side,” he said.
“You look at our pressure numbers and our pressure rating and we haven’t performed like this before.
“Offensively we’ve allowed some things to happen and the players to play to their strengths which is great, but our one-wood is our defence and we know that.
“If we come to play with that sort of pressure and that sort of intensity we’re really hard to beat.”