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AFL yet to confirm women’s final venue


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    Brisbane and Adelaide remain unsure where they will play the inaugural AFLW grand final, just six days away.

    The league remained in negotiations late on Sunday afternoon, trying to confirm that the unbeaten Lions would host the Crows at the Gabba.

    The Lions have played their women’s home games at the South Pine Sports Complex in Brendale, which only has a 3000 capacity and is unsuitable for the grand final.

    While Brisbane and the AFL are determined to play the premiership decider at the Gabba, there have been concerns over the turf.

    The Adele concert at the Gabba earlier this month is said to have caused turf damage that will need several weeks for recovery.

    Last week, Queensland Sports Minister Mick De Brenni said the Gabba was on track to host the women’s grand final and the first two Brisbane AFL home games.

    But Queensland Cricket has concerns about the centre wicket area because of damage from the concert.

    Asked if it was frustrating not to know the grand final venue less than a week from the match, Lions coach Craig Starcevich said “a little bit”.

    He spoke after Carlton made a late comeback to draw with the Lions at Ikon Park – the first time this season that Brisbane have not won.

    “But we’re confident it’s in Queensland, for a start,” Starcevich said.

    “Because we’re in the little zone of trying to get this result done, you sort of know it’s coming, but you’re not really spending too much of your time thinking about (it).

    “It would be nice to know by now – I think it’s getting closer, but we’ve been saying that for a few days.”

    A more immediate worry for Starcevich is defender Nicole Hildebrand.

    She appeared to hyper-extend her left knee in the last quarter and the Lions player was distressed afterwards on the boundary line.

    While there was speculation she had hurt an ankle, Hildebrand had ice on the knee post-match.

    Starcevich said he was unsure about the extent of her injury.

    The Lions led by four goals in the last quarter, but the Blues stormed home to level the scores, 6.1 (37) to Brisbane’s 5.7 (37).

    Earlier on Sunday, the Crows confirmed their grand final berth with a four-goal win over Collingwood.

    After being kept scoreless in the third term, Adelaide blitzed the Magpies with five goals in the last quarter and won 10.10 (70) to 7.4 (46).

    Had the Crows lost, Melbourne would have snatched the grand final berth away from them after walloping Fremantle on Saturday by 54 points at Casey Fields.

    Also on Saturday, the Giants finished bottom when the Western Bulldogs beat them at Manuka Oval by 32 points.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (15)

    • March 20th 2017 @ 1:08am
      Alicesprings said | March 20th 2017 @ 1:08am | ! Report

      Why in 2017 the GABBA doesn’t have a drop in pitch is beyond me.

      Common Queensland get with the program!

      • Roar Guru

        March 20th 2017 @ 9:50am
        Paul D said | March 20th 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

        It’s a very sensitive issue up here. The decline of the WACA has left the Gabba as arguably the best wicket for pace bowlers in Australia and the cricket test crazies are preparing to die in a ditch if they talk about removing it. There’s even talk of lodging a heritage application similar to what old buildings have to protect it.

        The enduring crappiness of the Lions too has meant their political clout doesn’t carry much weight.

        I can see this coming to a head in about 7-8 years time when the underground crossrail link is completed with a station directly under the Gabba and the QLD government wants to use the stadium for more events similar to the Adele concert. Going to be an interesting debate.

    • Roar Guru

      March 20th 2017 @ 1:45pm
      Paul D said | March 20th 2017 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

      They’ve just moved it to Metricon. Happy with that. Better for fans, not so good for the players, but that’s ok with me. Ultimately this code is played for the fans and having both games at the same venue will be much easier. Should be a great afternoon/evening down there.

    • Roar Guru

      March 20th 2017 @ 1:55pm
      AdelaideDocker said | March 20th 2017 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

      You gonna head down for the game?

      I can’t, though, see too many Gold Coast fans supporting the Lions women’s team and then immediately switching back their support to the Gold Coast means team. Maybe I’m wrong though; there could be a greater Queensland footy comraderie than I assume.

      • Roar Guru

        March 20th 2017 @ 1:56pm
        AdelaideDocker said | March 20th 2017 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

        Oops, this was supposed to be a reply to Paul.

        • Roar Guru

          March 20th 2017 @ 2:21pm
          Paul D said | March 20th 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

          The fact there is no gold coast team means most neutral fans will be on our bandwagon. I’ll see how my Saturday goes. I would like to get down to see both games but real life sometimes gets in the way.

    • Roar Guru

      March 20th 2017 @ 2:02pm
      TomC said | March 20th 2017 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

      Stadiums Queensland has to be held to account for this. There has always been the possibility that the game would be held on this date in this city but the first we heard of the Gabba being unavailable was a week ago.

      The first AFL game at the Gabba is being held exactly seven days after the AFLW Grand Final. It’s hard to believe that whatever was done to ensure the surface was playable for round 2 couldn’t also have made the ground available for what is a pretty significant event. And if there was a danger that the Adele concert could impact on the Gabba’s long-standing relationship with the Brisbane Lions, then presumably another venue could be found for a one-off music show.

      The Gabba is the least used of our major cricket grounds. It doesn’t host AFL pre season games and only one AFL team plays there. Stadiums Queensland’s purpose is to make sure these kinds of events can be held, and that’s why they receive government funding and are allowed to operate as a virtual monopoly. That they can’t hold a footy grand final in a city of two million people does not reflect well on their competence.

      The Brisbane Lions have always been seen by the Gabba as a second-class stakeholder. That must change.

      • Roar Guru

        March 20th 2017 @ 2:25pm
        Paul D said | March 20th 2017 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

        The use of the Gabba was a bit of an ambush from the promoters of this concert. Usually Suncorp gets these sort of events because of its better rail connections. I think you’re seeing malevolence when in fact it’s just disorganization.

        You assume stadiums queensland, BCC, the state government, the AFL, Cricket Australia & Kevin Mitchell Jr all talked to each other over the past few months. I think that’s sublimely optimistic.

        I’d also add none of this would be an issue if the Gabba had a drop-in wicket. That’s the real debate here.

        • Roar Guru

          March 20th 2017 @ 3:52pm
          TomC said | March 20th 2017 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

          I don’t believe AFL has ever been front of mind for the Gabba Trust or for Stadiums Queensland, and as a result when something gets neglected or stuffed up its likely to impact on AFL rather than any other sport. That’s not assuming malevolence, nor does it assume those organisations talked to each other.

          Whether its a drop in pitch, unavailability of the surface during pre-season, charging extortionate rates for its facilities, or now the AFLW grand final, Stadiums Queensland clearly don’t regard the AFL as a stakeholder they particularly need to accommodate.

          • Roar Guru

            March 20th 2017 @ 4:02pm
            Paul D said | March 20th 2017 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

            In answer to that I guess I would say that the Gabba has the Lions over a barrel because there’s nowhere else the Lions can play except at the Gabba – Cricket Australia could schedule test matches elsewhere if the wicket was stuffed.

            • Roar Guru

              March 20th 2017 @ 4:10pm
              TomC said | March 20th 2017 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

              That’s exactly right. The Lions have never had any bargaining power when dealing with Stadiums Queensland. So the decisions made by that organisation tend to reflect whoever has political clout within Queensland, which seems to be Rugby League and cricket.

              So to carry on from my comments on the other page, let’s make a noise! Let’s demand answers! That’s the only way I can see to change anything.

    • Roar Guru

      March 20th 2017 @ 2:42pm
      Cat said | March 20th 2017 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

      A tweet from Leigh Matthews sums it up pretty succinctly.

      Adele at Etihad , OK for footy 1 week later , Adele at Gabba , unsafe for footy 3 weeks later, who is liable for the embarrasing stuff up ?

      • Roar Guru

        March 20th 2017 @ 3:06pm
        Paul D said | March 20th 2017 @ 3:06pm | ! Report

        Matthews has overlooked the fact Etihad stadium does not have a permanent cricket wicket square present. That is the real reason the Gabba is out of action.

        People are being far too harsh. There hadn’t been an event like this held at the Gabba for years and years and I guess they assumed it would come up fine, or that the damage would not be as great. In hindsight it was a mistake but not a hanging offence, and grandstanding on twitter achieves nothing. It’s exactly this sort of publicly unhelpful behavior that saw Matthews eased out of the Lions boardroom.

        • Roar Guru

          March 20th 2017 @ 3:52pm
          Cat said | March 20th 2017 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

          Three weeks is still an awful lot of time to not be able to replace some grass. It’s not like we’re talking about some intricate and delicate operation, it’s bloody grass.

          • Roar Guru

            March 20th 2017 @ 3:57pm
            Paul D said | March 20th 2017 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

            I’m not a groundsman but I know from experience turf cricket wickets are particularly delicate beasts. Turf experts said the ground wasn’t safe to play on – whether that’s a political decision or a horticultural decision I don’t know. But I don’t think standing there hand on hips and saying “it’s bloody grass” is an overly scientific argument.

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