'Bloody awful': Crowd 'farce' sparks brutal AFL backlash

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
The crowd (pictured right) cheer at the Melbourne Demons and Brisbane Lions clash and (pictured left) Lions players frustrated.
Fans took aim the AFL after the Melbourne Demons and Brisbane Lions clash was moved to Sydney, in front of a small crowd. (Getty Images)

Fans have taken aim at the AFL's bizarre decision to move the game between the Melbourne Demons and the Brisbane Lions to GIANT Stadium in Sydney.

The Demons played in front of no paying supporters last week as a result of Melbourne heading into lockdown due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

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This week, the Demons were scheduled to play the Lions at TIO Traeger Park as part of the Demons' deal to play one game a year in Alice Springs.

But due to the recent Covid-19 developments in Melbourne, prompting multiple border closures, the match was moved to Sydney.

Despite the best attempts to garner a crowd, the two inter-state teams struggled to bring in a packed house.

And this wasn't lost on the fans watching on TV.

SEN's Andy Maher pointed out it was a 'farce' the game wasn't moved to the Gabba, in Brisbane, which would have attracted a large crowd.

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Fans also pointed out the 'fake' crowd noise added during broadcast, while there were fans in the stadium, was 'awful' for viewers.

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Regardless, the match lived-up to its billing with the Demons producing a brilliant second-half to maintain their momentum.

Goodwin declared the second half was as "good as" his team have played; a fair effort given an 11-1 record that also includes impressive wins over Richmond, Western Bulldogs and Geelong.

Lions coach Chris Fagan became the latest good judge to heap praise on Melbourne, describing them as the best opposition that Brisbane have faced this season.

Demons coach praises victory

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin noted the victory, coming after a flat start in which Brisbane eased to a 20-point halftime lead, would hold his charges in good stead throughout the rest of 2021.

"We want to be in a position where people do have high expectations of us because it creates pressure," Goodwin said.

"And to do what you want to do, you have to be able to perform under pressure.

"We understand there's a lot of excitement among our supporters and playing group ... we know we've got a lot of work to do.

"Our challenge is to keep improving, keep stepping up to these challenges and making sure we're ready to go when the time comes."

Fagan described Melbourne's 11-1 start as a "phenomenal effort".

The Demons wave to the crowd after winning the round 12 AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Brisbane Lions at GIANTS Stadium on June 04, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
The Demons wave to the crowd after winning the round 12 AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Brisbane Lions at GIANTS Stadium on June 04, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

"And their loss was by the smallest of margins," Fagan said.

"You have to take your hat off to them and what they're doing at this stage of the year."

Melbourne, who next face Collingwood at the SCG in their annual Queen's Birthday clash, will fly home on Saturday then return to Sydney on the eve of their final game before the mid-season bye.

"We're looking to get the crowd that the game deserves. It's a special occasion," Goodwin said.

"We're looking to fill the SCG come next Monday.

"The crowd (on Friday night) was brilliant. I didn't realise we had so many supporters in Sydney."

Speedster Jayden Hunt suffered a knock to his shoulder on Friday night, but played out the rest of the game.

"We'll assess that during the week, but he looks fine," Goodwin said.

with AAP

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