If the road to the 2020 grand final has been for Geelong and Richmond a test of toughness like no other, then for Chris Scott and Damien Hardwick, the challenges have presented their own obstacles.
It is six years since two premiership coaches have contended for the final play-off and for one of Scott, 44, or Hardwick, 48, late on Saturday night a significant new extension beckons to their legacy in the game.
For Chris Scott, the intelligent, well-spoken mentor whose loathing of defeat has threatened to consume him at times, it would be his fourth flag as an AFL player and coach and his second at Geelong, nine years after his maiden coaching victory.
Boasting far and away the best win-loss record of any current coach Scott has missed finals once in his decade with the Cats and missed the top four on just four occasions.
Read the whole analysis piece, written by former chief football writer for The Age Caroline Wilson, here.