Cyril’s simple AFL advice for Daniel Rioli

Cyril Rioli had a simple piece of AFL advice for cousin Daniel this week: it’s not going to be pretty.


Hawthorn star Cyril, who will watch Saturday’s grand final on the TV from the Northern Territory, was an obvious sounding board for Richmond youngster Daniel.

“He’s played in five grand finals – I think – there’s too many to keep count,” Daniel Rioli noted on Friday.

So many of Cyril’s performances in September, including that which led to him pocketing the Norm Smith medal in 2015, have been special because of his goals or grabs.

But the small forward’s pressure acts also played a key part in the Hawks’ golden era.

“I tried to pick his brain about some things,” Daniel Rioli said of this week’s call.

“He told me: run hard, get to every contest. You can’t play perfectly on the day, just work hard. It’s going to be a high-pressure game.

“Play your own brand of footy and bring the pressure up forward that we’ve done this whole season.”

Rioli knows he will be trying to step out of an immense shadow against Adelaide at the MCG on Saturday.

The 20-year-old’s family history in finals is incredible: Cyril, Maurice Rioli and Michael Long have all won Norm Smith medals.

“They all play their own brand of footy. I play my own,” he said.

Daniel Rioli’s Norm Smith tip is Dustin Martin.

Rioli could be in the best-on-ground conversation if he kicks four goals, as was the case in the Tigers’ preliminary final win over Greater Western Sydney.

Victory is understandably higher on his agenda.

“I remember watching it last year on telly, you get kind of jealous,” Rioli said.

“Last year wasn’t the best year … we weren’t where we wanted to be. Now we are and I can’t wait, we’ve got big things to do tomorrow.”

Rioli forecast a quiet night at coach Damien Hardwick’s household, where he lives.

“I’m going to see my family, catch up, get everything out of the way and have no stress at all,” he said.