WA Premier pulled up over 'controversial' detail in AFL grand final pic
Western Australia premier Mark McGowan has been called out after boldly picking his side for Saturday evening's AFL grand final.
The WA premier is relishing the fact that Perth is hosting the AFL decider for the first time in history, with the Covid-19 pandemic forcing it outside of Victoria's MCG for the second straight year.
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On the eve of the grand final, McGowan faced questions over whether the AFL showpiece should go ahead as planned in Perth after another virus scare emerged in the state.
Authorities on Friday revealed a woman who flew into Perth from NSW without a valid travel pass earlier in the week had tested positive. She was rejected entry to WA and directed to hotel quarantine where her infection was confirmed.
The WA premier said the flight's other passengers were all in quarantine and the infection was not expected to impact Saturday's grand final.
More than 60,000 fans turned out for the decider between the Western Bulldogs and the Melbourne Demons, with attendees not required to wear masks or practice physical distancing.
Another infection was detected this week in a truck driver who had visited from NSW but authorities are confident it's an isolated case.
The premier said the grand final would be a historic event for WA and insisted his state would "do the big match justice".
Any questions about who Mr McGowan would be supporting in the all-Victorian grand final were emphatically answered in the build-up to the match.
The WA premier uploaded a selfie to Twitter just hours before the first bounce, which showed him on a packed train with a group of Melbourne Demons supporters.
It was quickly pointed out that hanging across the neck of the premier was a red and blue Melbourne Demons scarf.
“Incredible vibe on the train to the Stadium,” McGowan wrote on Twitter. “Grand Final fever is well and truly here!”
Incredible vibe on the train to the Stadium. Grand Final fever is well and truly here! pic.twitter.com/2a5Etxivba
— Mark McGowan (@MarkMcGowanMP) September 25, 2021
WA premier wears his Demons colours proudly
The premier's followers quickly pointed out the telling grand final detail, which members of Channel Seven's grand final coverage described as somewhat "controversial".
“He’s made a statement there, I did not expect that,” James Brayshaw said.
Abbey Holmes added: “That’s controversial.”
Mr McGowan was also spotted outside Optus Stadium posing for selfies with fans proudly wearing the Demons scarf draped across his neck.
.@MarkMcGowanMP has picked a team! 😈 pic.twitter.com/G63jLVlTQV
— 7AFL (@7AFL) September 25, 2021
The premier would have been a happy man at quarter time after the fast-starting Demons raced out to a 21-point lead.
However, the Bulldogs hit back to turn that first quarter deficit into an eight-point lead at the main break.
Melbourne stuck with the same side that crushed Geelong by 83 points in the preliminary final, naming star defender Steven May in their side.
The All-Australian fullback was subbed out of the game against the Cats with a hamstring issue but the week off before the grand final has been crucial in proving his fitness.
Small forward Charlie Spargo was also under an injury cloud after rolling his ankle at training, but he has kept his spot.
Melbourne are gunning for their first premiership since 1964, while the Bulldogs are hoping to add a third flag to their successes in 1954 and 2016.
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