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AFL season 2020 on again after long wait

Staff writers, June 12, 2020 7:51AM Kids News

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Collingwood’s Taylor Adams tackles Richmond captain Trent Cotchin in the long-awaited return of the AFL. Picture: Michael Klein media_cameraCollingwood’s Taylor Adams tackles Richmond captain Trent Cotchin in the long-awaited return of the AFL. Picture: Michael Klein

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Collingwood and Richmond fought out a bizarre* low-scoring draw to restart the 2020 AFL season after a two-month break.

The 5.6 (36) to 5.6 (36) result was just the second draw between these teams, and the first since 1917.

And at time when the AFL wants coaches to let loose with attacking, gung-ho* football, it was the lowest scoring match this century, albeit* played on reduced game time.

The match, broadcast from an empty MCG with fake crowd noise, was also not without controversy* when a score review overturned the goal umpire’s call to award a mark to Richmond’s Jack Higgins on the goal line.

The ball appeared to be over the line for a behind, but Higgins took his chance and kicked a goal to put the Tigers within two points of the Magpies.

Collingwood v Richmond media_cameraJack Higgins celebrates his controversial goal with Tigers teammates. Picture: Michael Klein

The Thursday night match in Melbourne kicked off* the most long-awaited round 2 in the history of the game.

Continuing COVID-19-related restrictions in Victoria meant fans could not attend the match and had to be content with cheering and yelling at their TV.

However, there is hope Victorian footy fans could be at the game in person soon, perhaps by round 4, as state governments continue to open up stadiums for AFL matches.

Victoria is likely to trail behind South Australia, NSW and Queensland in allowing a limited number of fans into stadiums, according to the Herald Sun’s Jon Ralph.

Collingwood v Richmond media_cameraCollingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy gets a hitout at the empty MCG. Picture: Michael Klein
Collingwood v Richmond media_cameraCollingwood teammates Steele Sidebottom and Callum Brown celebrate a goal COVID-19 safe style. Picture: Michael Klein

Adelaide and Port Adelaide will welcome more than 2000 spectators into the Adelaide Oval in South Australia for Saturday night’s Showdown, with an extra 240 fans watching from corporate boxes*.

Queenslanders will have to wait a week before being permitted into the Gabba and Metricon Stadium.

On Wednesday morning, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told the Nine Network there would be no further change to the restrictions in that state for round 2 AFL matches or for round 5 NRL matches this weekend, at which a small number of people are allowed to watch from corporate boxes.

“No, not this weekend, no,” she said on the Today show.

“However, we’ve said the use of corporate boxes and the like is the first stage of that engagement.”

media_cameraVictor Radley tackles Thomas Flegler during the Brisbane Broncos v Sydney Roosters round 4 match, Suncorp Stadium, NSW on June 4 without spectators at the match. Picture: Scott Davis

While it’s not yet clear just how many fans will be allowed into the MCG when it reopens, the MCC* is confident it could welcome tens of thousands of fans under the current social distancing restrictions. The capacity of the MCG is 100,024, making it Australia’s largest-capacity sports stadium and the 10th largest in the world.

DECEMBER 26, 2003: Section of capacity crowd on opening day of third test of Australia v India series at MCG in Melbourne, 26/12/03. Pic Cameron Tandy. Cricket / Venue media_cameraA section of a capacity MCG crowd. Picture: Cameron Tandy

AFL ROUND 2 MATCHES TO COME

Friday, June 12
Geelong Cats vs. Hawthorn, GMHBA, 7.50pm

Saturday June 13
Brisbane Lions vs. Fremantle, Gabba, 1.45pm

Carlton vs. Melbourne, Marvel Stadium, 4.35pm

Port Adelaide vs. Adelaide Crows, Adelaide Oval, 7.40pm

Gold Coast Suns vs. West Coast Eagles, Metricon Stadium, 7.40pm

Sunday June 14
GWS Giants vs. North Melbourne, Giants Stadium, 1.05pm

Sydney Swans vs. Essendon, SCG, 3.35pm

St Kilda vs. Western Bulldogs, Marvel Stadium, 6.05pm

GLOSSARY

  • bizarre: strange
  • gung-ho: enthusiastic, eager
  • albeit: though
  • kicks off: starts
  • corporate boxes: private dining rooms companies hire for watching sport
  • MCC: Melbourne Cricket Club, which manages the MCG

EXTRA READING

AFL announces next rounds in restarted 2020 season

Search for solutions to sports’ COVID-19 problems

NRL restart to attract massive TV audience

QUICK QUIZ

  1. Who played at the MCG on Thursday night?
  2. How long was the break between rounds 1 and 2 in AFL season 2020?
  3. Approximately how many spectators will be at the AFL match in South Australia this weekend?
  4. What is the largest-capacity stadium in Australia?
  5. How many spectators can the MCG hold?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Design a Banner
What do you think should be on the banner for your favourite AFL team to run through before their first game after lockdown? Choose one team, draw a design and choose some words that will inspire them to play their best at this time.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English

2. Extension
Should footy games should be starting now? Write a list of reasons for and a list of reasons against.

Time: allow at least 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and Social Capability

VCOP ACTIVITY
I Spy Nouns
Nouns are places, names (of people and objects), and time (months or days of the week).

How many nouns can you find in the article?

Can you sort them into places, names and time?

Pick 3 nouns and add an adjective (describing word) to the nouns.

HAVE YOUR SAY: What sport or game are you most looking forward to watching?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

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