Luckless Lions lose again in shambolic AFLW grand final farce

mds1970 Roar Guru

By mds1970, mds1970 is a Roar Guru

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    Someone at the Brisbane Lions must have broken two mirrors, as the club’s rotten run with luck continues into its 14th year, missing out on hosting the AFLW grand final.

    In 2004, contract terms with the MCG saw the Lions cheated out of a home preliminary final that, on ladder positions, should have been rightfully theirs. And although the Lions fell over the line in that game at the MCG, the strain of back-to-back road trips took their toll as they ran out of legs in the next week’s grand final.

    The Lions men’s side have been barely competitive since, only making the finals once in the subsequent 12 seasons. Luck has continually deserted them as recruit after recruit becomes injury-prone, scandal-plagued and homesick as soon as they are drafted.

    And now it’s happened again. Despite finishing top of the ladder after an undefeated season, the Brisbane Lions will not be hosting the AFLW grand final.

    Instead it will be played at Metricon Stadium. As a curtain-raiser to an AFL men’s game.

    A game where the Gold Coast Suns, who don’t have an AFLW team, will have the hosting rights. Where, unlike the free entry that has been part of the AFLW model, tickets will have to be purchased at AFL men’s prices.

    Suns members will sit in the prime seats, if they even bother to arrive before the AFLW grand final is over. Suns sponsors will be on the ground signage and sitting in the corporate boxes. With the AFLW game a before-thought, their fans almost invisible in isolated corners of the ground.

    It shouldn’t have been that way.

    In the football tab of The Roar last Friday, Mike Tuckerman wrote a piece that in part lamented the poor quality of surfaces that the Socceroos have to play on.

    Among the comments, there was talk of the danger to the turf from having a Waratahs game at Allianz Stadium on the eve of a possible A-League grand final.

    It’s not an ideal situation. The world game certainly is a better spectacle on a good-quality surface.

    But at least the Socceroos still get to play. At least Sydney FC, should they qualify, will still get to play a home grand final.

    But for our game, the Brisbane Lions AFLW team are denied even that.

    The Gabba reportedly failed a ground inspection. The surface had been damaged by Adele concerts there.

    But those concerts were weeks ago. Etihad Stadium and Adelaide Oval, which hosted Adele more recently, are fine to host AFL games this weekend. ANZ Stadium will be hosting NRL games.

    The competence of the Gabba ground staff must be questioned.

    But the most bizarre excuse for not wanting to host the AFLW grand final was that they’re worried about what effect it would have on the wicket for the Ashes Test.

    That game isn’t until November! Eight whole months!

    Ground surfaces have been dug up completely and re-turfed into pristine cricket conditions in barely a fraction of that time. That excuse fails any common-sense believability test.

    Yes, I’m sure the Gabba wasn’t expecting to be asked to host the AFLW grand final. The Lions exceeded all expectations to finish top of the ladder.

    Yes, it’s been wet.

    But for any other stadium, the prestige of having this game would be enormous.

    Sadly, Australian football doesn’t seem to be a priority for the people running the Gabba.

    It’s a shame that the climax of the AFLW season has descended into such a farcical shambles. There’s been so much to celebrate about this season.

    From the opening night lockout, we’ve seen some solid crowds. The media has been positive, and the standard of footy has improved as the season progressed.

    There’s no shortage of players who, in the last few weeks, have developed into stars. Saturday night’s grand final will see the likes of Tayla Harris and Sabrina Frederick-Traub taking on the likes of Erin Phillips and Sarah ‘Tex’ Perkins – names that we’ve enjoyed seeing in action over the last two months.

    It’s such a shame that, when the winner thanks the fans for their support, all you’ll see are red seats and the odd early-arriving apathetic Suns fan. While the fans are relegated to some invisible pocket up in the nosebleeds.

    It shouldn’t have been this way.

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    The Crowd Says (43)

    • Roar Guru

      March 21st 2017 @ 7:05am
      Penster said | March 21st 2017 @ 7:05am | ! Report

      Not broken 2 mirrors mds1970 – someone has run over Kevin Mitchell’s dog or maybe Gary Lyon winked at his wife. Gill is calling it a lack of prioritisation, but they knew there was a good chance the Lions Women would be thereabouts on grand final day, it’s sabotage. AFLW is another step in the right direction for encouraging female participation in footy, this is downright shabby and incompetent from Gabba management. They should send up the groundsmen from ANZ Stadium ……………………… oh wait ……………………………

      • Roar Guru

        March 21st 2017 @ 9:44am
        mds1970 said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:44am | ! Report

        I won’t use the word sabotage, although I did hear it said on AFL360 last night.
        I’m more inclined to go with cock-up over conspiracy. But it shows AFL isn’t a priority for the Gabba management.

    • March 21st 2017 @ 7:15am
      I hate pies said | March 21st 2017 @ 7:15am | ! Report

      It shows the true standing of the women’s game to the AFL. When you strip back the propaganda and hyperbole they just don’t really care about it.

      • March 21st 2017 @ 2:37pm
        northerner said | March 21st 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

        No, the Gabba doesn’t. Other folks, however, do care about it. Including quite a lot of women. I guess the Gabba doesn’t care about women either. Unless, of course, they’re Adele.

        • March 21st 2017 @ 2:47pm
          I hate pies said | March 21st 2017 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

          No, the AFL doesn’t.

          • March 21st 2017 @ 3:33pm
            northerner said | March 21st 2017 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

            The AFL doesn’t own the Gabba. No wonder it took you only 20 seconds to read the story. You didn’t get past the headline.

    • March 21st 2017 @ 7:56am
      Nemesis said | March 21st 2017 @ 7:56am | ! Report

      Whenever football fans bring up the topic of scheduling & quality problems due to sharing stadiums in Australia, we are told by AFL fans “Too bad. Build you own stadium”.

      The sweet irony of this situation is breathtaking.

      All I can say, on behalf of the football community: Thank you, Gabba Stadium Management.

      This episode clearly demonstrates where AFL sits within the Brisbane community.

      • Roar Guru

        March 21st 2017 @ 9:33am
        mds1970 said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

        The ideal situation for all codes would be to have control of their own stadiums. But, with the exception of the AFL taking ownership of Etihad Stadium, none of the codes have the means to do that.
        And so we have these shared and over-used stadiums with the occasional turf war. That’s the lie of the land.
        The turf wars, some you win some you lose. It’s the same for all sports. This one the AFL lost.

        Fuss, you’re right about it showing where AFL sits in the Brisbane pecking order. Clearly AFL isn’t a priority for the Gabba management.
        To use the excuse of a cricket game that isn’t for 8 months is bizarre. The Gabba clearly weren’t interested in hosting it.

        • March 21st 2017 @ 10:02am
          Sydneysider said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:02am | ! Report


          Isn’t it interesting when the shoe is on the other foot for the AFL……… and not in their home state of Victoria.

      • Roar Guru

        March 21st 2017 @ 10:21am
        TomC said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

        Your football club and mine play several games a year at a stadium funded by the AFL, so you’re talking a load of nonsense, as usual.

        But there’s something deeply concerning about revelling in the disappointment of a group of amateur women players as part of your pathetic ongoing code war. Something broken about you and what you choose to prioritise.

        As Fussball repeatedly demonstrates in his thanfully rare appearances on the AFL page, code warriors truly are nasty pieces of work.

    • March 21st 2017 @ 8:45am
      Nardio said | March 21st 2017 @ 8:45am | ! Report

      AFL arrogance should not be underestimated in this … they advised the Gabba of the possibility of a final there only three or four weeks ago.
      Lions boss Greg Swann’s reference to Kevin Mitchell Jnr as “the bloke who mows the grass” mirrored this arrogance. Mitchell has for many years been widely acknowledged as the best curator in Australia.

      • March 21st 2017 @ 9:51am
        TJ said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:51am | ! Report

        You might be right, but do the maths at the same time, and you might work out which ground tenant based on revenue helps contribute most to Kevin Mitchell’s salary…..

      • Roar Guru

        March 21st 2017 @ 1:06pm
        mds1970 said | March 21st 2017 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

        I don’t think the AFL expected Brisbane to finish top. Few people did. I certainly didn’t – I did The Roar’s live blogs for a few Lions games, and every time I tipped against them in the preview article but they got up.
        The AFLW season has been full of surprises; and has been bigger than the AFL expected or budgeted for. It’s been a learning curve, and they didn’t get this one right.

        But yet again it’s the Brisbane Lions who cop the bad luck. They must be feeling cursed up there that they cop these sort of unlucky breaks all the time; as if someone’s been pointing the bone at that club since the 2004 Prelim Final.

    • Roar Guru

      March 21st 2017 @ 8:58am
      Wayne said | March 21st 2017 @ 8:58am | ! Report

      There is also whispers that the ground won’t be ready for the Brisbane Lions Round 2 Clash either.

      I don’t understand why the game wasn’t gifted to Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval. Or send it to Melbourne. Either way, it should of been a standalone game. A lot of potential attendees won’t go for price/travel constraints

      • Roar Guru

        March 21st 2017 @ 9:41am
        mds1970 said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:41am | ! Report

        Metricon is at least in Queensland and, although it’s a bit of a trip, it’s possible for Brisbane fans to do it. And the Q-Clash is there that night.
        Taking it away from Queensland completely would have been unfair to the Lions team.

        But it’s not ideal and, for the reasons I mentioned in the article, relegates the AFLW Grand Final to mere curtain raiser status. It deserves better.

      • March 21st 2017 @ 9:53am
        Nathan said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:53am | ! Report

        Hi Wayne,

        How can you not understand why it was gifted to Adelaide or sent to Melbourne?

        Because Brisbane were the number 1 team and deserve hosting rights. None of the attendees had the game been in Brisbane would have gone to Adelaide or Melbourne and are much more likely to go to the Gold Coast, you cant claim for loss of attendance who wouldnt have attended the game had it been in Brisbane as it was meant to.

        The match is also prior to the Brisbane Lions v Gold Coast game which i would have thought is a good way to get brisbane fans/members to go to both games. Its not like the GC v BL game is going to sell out so there will be plenty of tickets available. The tickets are from $10 a kid and $26 an adult and if your a Brisbane fan thats not bad to see both the womens grand final and mens team play. You cant blame price when the tickets are that cheap.

        The only problem is the travel constraints but the gold coast is a lot closer for Brisbane fans than any of the alternate options.

        Also would anyone go if it was in Melbourne between two interstate teams?

        • March 21st 2017 @ 10:19am
          Gyfox said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:19am | ! Report

          Nathan & mds……I believe entry will be free for the AFLW final. After the game Metricon will be emptied out. Hence the Suns vs Lions game is starting later than scheduled.

          • March 21st 2017 @ 5:00pm
            Nathan said | March 21st 2017 @ 5:00pm | ! Report


            While imagine that would be annoying if you were going to both, it answers the question of cost.

            Thanks Gyfox

    • March 21st 2017 @ 9:20am
      Rugger said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:20am | ! Report

      Whatever, its waste of time and given oxygen for nothing game.

      • Roar Guru

        March 21st 2017 @ 10:23am
        Cat said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:23am | ! Report

        And yet here you are taking time out of your day to read and comment about something that allegedly is nothing. Contradiction much?

        • March 21st 2017 @ 12:37pm
          I hate pies said | March 21st 2017 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

          I’m sure that 20 seconds wasn’t a great impost.

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