AFL locks in night Lions-Dogs semi-final

·2-min read

The AFL has ended the Western Bulldogs' hopes of a day semi-final, locking in a night start for Saturday's Gabba clash with the Brisbane Lions.

The Bulldogs, currently based in Tasmania, are scheduled to travel to the Queensland capital on Friday.

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge made it clear he wanted the semi-final to start during the day, limiting the time his squad would be in hotel lockdown.

The league, having discussed the matter with broadcasters and other stakeholders, declared on Tuesday it would not break with recent convention as it announced a 7.20pm AEST kick-off.

It is yet to be confirmed whether the AFL has secured any quarantine exemptions for the Bulldogs, who were based in Melbourne before flying out for their elimination final in Launceston.

"You'd like to think maybe that game is earlier than a night game, otherwise we'll be in the hotel the whole day. You deal with it, but ideally you're not," Beveridge said on Sunday.

"We'll see what happens. The AFL are trying to look after everyone's wellbeing under the circumstances and a conscientious decision will be made."

Bulldogs defender Alex Keath told reporters that, as of Tuesday afternoon, players hadn't been briefed on "exact restrictions" and whether they would need to spend the entire day in their hotel.

But Keath noted the Bulldogs have previously prepared for games under similar conditions in Perth earlier this season and would be well-equipped to handle a hotel-based build-up to the game.

"We've been over to Perth a couple of times in the middle of the year and had a very similar set-up there in Joondalup for a portion of the week and then went into a hard hotel quarantine in the city, just prior to the game," Keath said.

"So if it's similar to that, we've sort of been through it before.

"It's not ideal but you can get up and move around the hotel and keep yourself going during the day.

"A few sleepyheads like to have a bit of a nap in the arvo anyway before a night game.

"So it'll be fine I think ... it's just great that we've earned that opportunity and another crack at a big final."

The winner of the Lions-Bulldogs clash will face Port Adelaide in a preliminary final.

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