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Extended NSW stay set to galvanise Carlton

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30th May, 2021
12

Carlton coach David Teague says his AFL side will bond, rather than sulk, after their stint away from home was extended through to another round.

The Blues are one of several clubs to have rapidly rejigged plans because of Melbourne’s COVID-19 outbreak and ensuing border closures.

Carlton were told last Tuesday night they would likely need to fly ahead of schedule for a round-11 clash with Sydney at the SCG.

The AFL’s initial advice was that Teague’s team, having flown out on a hastily booked flight last Wednesday, would return home after playing the Swans on Sunday.

That didn’t transpire after Sunday’s 22-point loss, with Carlton now planning to stay in the NSW capital for the coming week.

The league is yet to announce its rejigged round-12 fixture but it appears likely the Blues will ‘host’ their home game against West Coast at the SCG.

“We need to bond. We’ll pick our lip quickly, we’re not going to sulk,” Teague said.

“We are starting to get a bit used to it in terms of the uncertainty.

“We originally got told five days. Everyone has packed for longer than five days, except me.

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“I was the only bloke. I was really stubborn and thought ‘nah, nah – they said five days and I’m going to stick to it’.

“Speaking to all the players, they’ve gone ‘we always thought it’d be longer’ … we’ve got the bye after next week, so hopefully after the next game we should be back in Melbourne.”

The AFL has confirmed the Dreamtime feature match between Richmond and Essendon will be played in Perth on Saturday.

The league’s remaining plans for Round 12, which is now unlikely to feature a game in Melbourne, are expected to be rubber stamped soon.

The St Kilda-Sydney contest, scheduled for Marvel Stadium, is set to be shifted outside Victoria.

Friday night’s encounter between ladder leaders Melbourne and fellow flag contenders Brisbane is likely to be moved from Alice Springs, either to Sydney or Queensland.

Western Bulldogs will be based in Sydney this week then fly out on Saturday their clash with Fremantle in Perth.

The AFL is still trying to secure exemptions that could allow Collingwood to travel to South Australia for their match against Adelaide.

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