Richmond veteran Bachar Houli has revealed that he played through a torn calf in the Grand Final after words of inspiration from coach Damien Hardwick.
After being close to the Tigers’ best on ground in the 2017 and 2019 Grand Finals, Houli was noticeably quieter against the Cats, finishing with just 11 disposals.
The 32-year-old explained that he heard his calf pop just minutes after fellow defender Nick Vlastuin was brutally knocked out by an errant elbow from Patrick Dangerfield in the first term.
“I actually did my calf about two minutes after Nick Vlastuin got knocked out,” he told Triple M after the win.
“I thought I was done, but the great man Dimma said, ‘I need you to battle on’. I’m so proud to see the boys put in that effort.”
Houli explained that he had come into the game with minor tightness, something that he had battled over the last month of football.
“It was a little bit tight but I didn’t think much of it,” he said.
“I’ve been in that same situation about two times in the last six weeks, and I didn’t think much of it.
“I sprinted across the ground and it popped. I thought that was done, but I knew there was no next week and I wanted to give it all I’ve got.”