'Can't believe it': AFL fans in shock as snow falls during game

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

AFL fans have been left amazed by the conditions facing the GWS Giants and Hawthorn in Canberra on Friday night, with snow beginning to fall mid-way through the first quarter of their clash.

Players and fans alike at Manuka Oval were forced to shield themselves from the icy conditions at quarter time.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the temperature in Canberra at 8:30pm was a brisk 2.7 degrees, freezing even by the capital’s usually frosty standards.

Damaging and icy conditions have been forecast for south-east Australia right across the weekend, and Canberra evidently has not been spared.

Fans took to Twitter with some incredible pictures and vision from the game.

Giants, Hawks stars wrestle with conditions

"I must admit when the snow came down the crowd went a bit wild," GWS star Heath Shaw told the Seven Network at halftime..

"That was a bit interesting ... it's obviously going to be a bit of a slog this game.

"(But) it's not too bad. (My) hands are a bit numb at the moment but I'll warm up and get back out there in the second half."

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson famously doesn't allow his players to wear long-sleeve jumpers and didn't lift the ban in Canberra.

Clarkson was comically wearing shorts at the first-quarter hurdle.

Fans at Friday night's AFL clash between the GWS Giants and Hawthorn at Canberra's Manuka Stadium had to contend with snow falling in the first quarter. Picture: Twitter/@WG_Cooper

The Hawks dominated the opening exchanges of the first two quarters and led 6.2 (38) to 4.1 (25) at the main break.

The Giants are chasing four straight wins for the first time this season and a top-four berth, while the Hawks are playing for pride.

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson declared before the game that his players would not wear long-sleeve shirts for the clash, a decision questioned by many in light of the conditions.

Many were quick to spare at thought not only for the players, stranded in the middle of the ground with only a singlet and shorts to protect them from the elements, but also Channel 7’s boundary rider Daisy Pearce.

The AFLW star confirmed from the ground that there was indeed some snow, questioning if it had ever snowed during an AFL game.

While snow might be a new occurrence at the footy, it’s not the first time brutal, arctic conditions have disrupted a game.

Die-hard fans will remember the notorious 1993 clash between St Kilda and Brisbane in 1993, which saw players forced to shield themselves from large hailstones which began to fall mid-way through the match.

Of course, fans of the Canberra Raiders will recall their famous round 17 match against the Wests Tigers, in which the two teams battled similarly icy conditions.