A week after polishing off the Western Bulldogs, the Melbourne Demons met another premiership heavyweight in the Brisbane Lions on Friday night.
The clash firmed as one of the season’s most intriguing match-ups thus far — the Demons headed into the game one win clear at the top of the ladder, while the Lions found themselves on a seven-game winning streak after a shaky start to the season.
However, AFL fans were left to lament that a last-minute scheduling change moved the blockbuster from Alice Springs’ TIO Traegar Park to GIANTS Stadium in Western Sydney, where a paltry crowd turned out for the clash.
Victoria’s recent Covid-19 outbreak has forced the AFL to make a handful of venue changes over the past fortnight, and the Northern Territory’s tough border restrictions meant the league had no option but to move the clash to New South Wales.
Nevertheless, fans vented their frustration at the change on Twitter.
Already confirmed what a farce it is that this game isn’t at the Gabba. About 20% as compelling as it should be.
There’s more people on the ground right now than in the stands. #afl
Not sure we’ll get a big, big sound tonight but it should still be a cracking game of footy between top four teams. Join us @abcsport 7pm EST. #AFLDeesLions#AFLDeadlypic.twitter.com/xWVA3iEPoQ
Blockbuster. No late changes … Neale back for Lions @AAPSport#AFLDeesLionspic.twitter.com/XRuwhaPjE8
The two sides traded blows in the opening term before the Lions snapped three consecutive goals to take a 13-point point lead into the first change. Zac Bailey bagged two majors for the quarter, while Max Gawn and Bayley Fritsch were the goalscorers for the Dees.
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