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AFL season 2020 restart fixture announced

Staff writers and AAP, May 25, 2020 6:30PM Herald Sun

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Richmond Tigers training session at Punt Road Oval, Melbourne, Victoria, Monday, May 25. Picture: AAP media_cameraRichmond Tigers training session at Punt Road Oval, Melbourne, Victoria, Monday, May 25. Picture: AAP

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The league has confirmed multiple blockbusters* in the first week back and released the fixture for rounds two to five.

Victorian teams Richmond and Collingwood will kickstart the stalled season on June 11, followed by a clash between Geelong and Hawthorn the following night.

Collingwood Magpies Training Session media_cameraJamie Elliott handballs while being tackled during a Collingwood Magpies AFL training session on May 25 in Melbourne, Victoria. Picture: Getty Images

The two South Australian clubs are set to play in the prime Saturday night slot on June 13.

West Coast and Fremantle — based for the moment in Queensland — will take on Gold Coast and Brisbane respectively*, while round-one losers Carlton and Melbourne will lock horns*.

Sunday will feature GWS-North Melbourne, Sydney-Essendon and St Kilda-Western Bulldogs meetings.

Western Bulldogs Training Session media_cameraSprints during the Western Bulldogs AFL training session at Whitten Oval on May 25 in Melbourne, Victoria. Picture: AFL Photos via Getty Images

By releasing the fixture in four-week blocks, it allows the AFL flexibility to adapt to changing coronavirus restrictions later in the year.

The restart to competition follows weeks of discussion between the AFL, clubs, state governments and health authorities. Geelong is a big winner, playing three of its next four matches at its Kardinia Park home ground, GMHBA Stadium.

Round two will be Hawthorn’s first trip to Geelong in 14 years, last playing there in 2006.

Government restrictions preventing crowds for now means that matches that would usually attract big crowds that the Cats would normally host at the MCG can be played in Geelong.

Collingwood and Essendon — whose games usually attract big numbers of spectators — could potentially play at Geelong for the first time this century.

South Australian rivals Adelaide and Port Adelaide will clash in their home state before relocating to their temporary hub on the Gold Coast to play the rest of their matches in the first block of fixtures.

The Crows and the Power are still hopeful that further relaxation of SA travel restrictions will soon allow them to fly in and out of Adelaide.

Fremantle Dockers Training Session media_cameraSean Darcy, Nathan Fyfe and Rory Lobb run during a Fremantle Dockers AFL training session at Victor George Kailis Oval on May 25 in Perth, WA. Picture: Getty Images

ROUND 2
Thursday June 11
Collingwood vs Richmond, MCG, 7:40pm

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

ROUND 3
Thursday June 18
Richmond vs Hawthorn, MCG, 7:40pm

Friday June 19
Western Bulldogs vs GWS Giants, Marvel Stadium, 7:50pm

Saturday June 20
North Melbourne vs Sydney Swans, Marvel Stadium, 1:45pm

Collingwood vs St Kilda, MCG, 4:35pm

Geelong Cats vs Carlton, GMHBA, 7:40pm

Brisbane Lions vs West Coast Eagles, Gabba, 7:40pm

Sunday June 21
Gold Coast Suns vs Adelaide Crows, Metricon Stadium, 1:05pm

Essendon vs Melbourne, MCG, 3:35pm

Fremantle vs Port Adelaide, Metricon Stadium, 6:05pm

ROUND 4
Thursday June 25
Sydney Swans vs Western Bulldogs, SCG, 7:40pm

Friday June 26
GWS Giants vs Collingwood, Giants Stadium, 7:50pm

Saturday June 27
Port Adelaide vs West Coast Eagles, Metricon Stadium, 1:45pm

St Kilda vs Richmond, Marvel Stadium, 4:35pm

Essendon vs Carlton, MCG, 7:40pm

Gold Coast Suns vs Fremantle, Metricon Stadium, 7:40pm

Sunday June 28
Brisbane Lions vs Adelaide Crows, Gabba, 1:05pm

Melbourne vs Geelong Cats, MCG, 3:35pm

Hawthorn vs North Melbourne, Marvel Stadium, 6:05pm

ROUND 5
Thursday July 2
West Coast Eagles vs Richmond, Metricon Stadium, 7:40pm

Friday July 3
Collingwood vs Essendon, MCG, 7:50pm

Saturday July 4
Carlton vs St Kilda, MCG, 1:45pm

Geelong Cats vs Gold Coast Suns, GMHBA, 4:35pm

Western Bulldogs vs North Melbourne, Marvel Stadium, 7:40pm

Brisbane Lions vs Port Adelaide, Gabba, 7:40pm

Sunday July 5
Adelaide Crows vs Fremantle, Metricon Stadium, 1:05pm

Sydney Swans vs Melbourne, SCG, 3:35pm

GWS Giants vs Hawthorn, Giants Stadium, 6:05pm

Footy Played To Empty Stadiums: Before & After media_cameraTop: Round 17 AFL match between the Port Adelaide Power and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Adelaide Oval on July 15, 2017 in Adelaide, SA. Bottom: Round 1 AFL match between the Adelaide Crows and the Sydney Swans at Adelaide Oval on March 21, 2020 in Adelaide, SA, when COVID-19 restrictions banned spectators. Picture: Getty Images

GLOSSARY

  • blockbusters: big, popular games or shows
  • respectively: separately, in the order mentioned
  • lock horns: do battle

EXTRA READING

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Teenager Prespakis wins AFLW best and fairest

Dusty models COVID-safe return to AFL

QUICK QUIZ

  1. Which teams play the first game of the restarted season?
  2. Why does the fixture start at Round 2?
  3. Why has the AFL only released to Round 5?
  4. What will Adelaide and Port Adelaide relocate to?
  5. Where is Geelong’s home ground? What are two names for it?

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