The AFL has been forced to delay Friday evening’s match between the Richmond Tigers and Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium.
Friday evening’s AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium has been delayed due to a massive traffic jam.
The Round 18 contest was originally scheduled to take place at the MCG, but was moved to the Gold Coast following Victoria’s snap lockdown.
The Lions had already arrived in Melbourne ahead of the clash, but flew back to Queensland with Richmond on a chartered flight on Thursday.
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According to The Herald Sun’s Jon Ralph, the team buses were held up in traffic while travelling down from Brisbane due to two crashes crash on the freeway.
The AFL subsequently made a late decision to postpone the first bounce 15 minutes to 8.05pm local time.
“Both clubs are currently commuting from Brisbane to the Gold Coast where they have experienced significant traffic delays,” the league said in a statement.
“The decision to push the game back 15 minutes has been made to provide teams with adequate time to prepare for the match.”
Ahead of his 300th AFL game, Tigers forward Jack Riewoldt cheekily tweeted: “No toilet on the bus either.”
Richmond assistant coach Adam Kingsley told 3AW radio while still on the team bus: “Once we get there we’ll shorten our routines and preparation and be ready to play.”
Riewoldt said he has been flattered by the build-up to his 300th game and expects the occasion to be a special one, and said he would not be deterred even if the game had have been played in front of empty stands at the MCG.
“It’s an evolving situation and clearly it’s a game of football when it comes down to it,” Riewoldt said on Thursday.
“And it is an important game of football for me, but there are more important things at stake here at the moment, and that’s obviously the health and wellbeing of everyone here in Victoria that have done it tough.
“Four times now in lockdown now and hopefully we don’t have to go into a fifth.”
Riewoldt will join Kevin Bartlett, Jack Dyer and Francis Bourke as one of only four men to play 300 games for the club in its 136-year history.
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AFL players in Melbourne were placed under stricter protocols from midday on Thursday to protect the season, as Victoria prepared to enter a five-day snap lockdown.
“The decisions we have made this morning regarding the locations of a number of teams have been taken out of an abundance of caution. Our approach remains to take risk out of the season where the opportunity presents,” AFL Executive General Manager Clubs and Broadcasting Travis Auld said.
“We continue to work towards our priority of reuniting the families of both the GWS GIANTS and Sydney Swans and the decision to relocate both sides to Queensland provides maximum flexibility required to achieve that.”
North Melbourne and Essendon had been scheduled to play at Marvel Stadium this weekend but will now take the field at Metricon Stadium in the first game of a Sunday double-header. Both sides flew to the Sunshine State on Thursday afternoon.
Metricon Stadium will also host the Giants’ clash with the Swans this Sunday evening, with both teams flying out of Victoria on Sunday morning.
– with NCA NewsWire
‘No toilet’: Bizarre reason for AFL delay