Australia Melburnians watch AFL Grand Final from living rooms

13:51  24 october  2020
13:51  24 october  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

A coronavirus-isolated AFL grand final week in Melbourne will be a vastly different kind of experience this year

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Lockdown and football do strange things to grown adults. I watched Saturday’s preliminary final in a certifiable state, flanked by an increasingly concerned rescue greyhound. It would have completely stuffed everything. Instead, we’ll watch from the couch. We’ll be prowling our living rooms .

Watch Australian football matches live and online with a Watch AFL Global Pass. See every AFL match live & on demand plus the 24/7 FOX Grand Final Pass now available. Match begins 6:30pm AEST, Saturday 24th October. Choose your plan. Living outside Australia or just away on holiday?

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Gloomy weather and coronavirus restrictions have failed to dampen Melburnians' spirits despite the AFL Grand Final being held in another city.

Saturday's end of season decider between Richmond Tigers and Geelong Cats is being played outside of Victoria for the first time in history, due to the state's deadly second wave of coronavirus infections.

Melburnians are still subject to a number of lockdown restrictions - including mandatory face masks and limits on travelling outside their local area - but still made the most of the annual sporting event on Saturday.

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AFL fans flocked to the London Tavern Hotel in Richmond, Melbourne, ahead of the first bounce at 7.30pm.

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Pubs and restaurants remain closed under current restrictions in Melbourne but venues can serve takeaway food and drink.

'Grand Final day will look a little different at the London this year but you can still celebrate with us, takeaway style,' the venue said on Facebook.

'Start the day right with a coffee and bacon and egg roll or pastry.

Video: Victorian footy fans prepare ahead of AFL Grand Final (Wide World of Sports)

'Then head to the window in the afternoon to gear up for the big match with a takeaway beer and burger.'

Victoria Police attended the venue to disperse crowds that stood together in the street.

Melburnians are currently allowed to gather in groups of 10 from two households.

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Some AFL fans made the most of the eased restriction by meeting for the end of season decider.

Others decided to mark the occasion by hosting a celebratory picnic at the usually bustling Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The 2020 AFL season was forced to relocate to Queensland due to the coronavirus pandemic. Players and officials were part of a COVID-safe bubble to ensure the league could continue through the health crisis.

The Richmond Tigers are vying for their third premiership flag in four years. They won the Grand Final last year to the GWS Giants and were triumphant over Adelaide Football Club in 2017.

For the Cats, it would be their first premiership since 2011.

Read more

What is the AFL's greatest modern dynasty? .
With their grand final victory over the Geelong Cats last week, Richmond became the fourth team this millennium to win at least three flags. They joined the Brisbane Lions (2001-03), the Cats (2007, 2009 and 2011) and Hawthorn (2008, 2013-15) among the most successful teams of the 21st century, and Trent Cotchin joined his contemporaries Michael Voss and Luke Hodge as triple-premiership winning captains.

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