St Kilda Saints v Richmond Tigers; round five; results, new, fixtures, odds, tipping, teams, draw; Maddie’s Match; Nick Riewoldt; Jack Riewoldt

You had some bad injuries and a five-day break but some commentators have called that an insipid performance – is that a fair description or not?

I think half-way through the second we thought we were in the game and they made some skill errors towards the back end and put ourselves in doubt with the ball in hand.

We have got the statistics, 35-10 for clearances Richmond’s way and 37-11 first possessions and that made us defend and they had territory honours.

We cannot pick and choose when we want to jump in and play. For a quarter and a bit we were good and last week we were good for the whole game and that is something we have to address.

That was a trend and it was a poor game and we did not handle their pressure and their pressure was very good and we had the ability to kick the ball and take some ground off them and we took a handball and we spoke about taking some territory and we were 6-12 in the first three minutes of the last quarter. There were aspects of the game where we lost confidence and around the ball we were poor.

Was the message at three-quarter time that you wanted them to toughen up or were you disappointed in that aspect of the game?

No doubt about it and when you have a quarter like that, you expect that but we had the advantage that we could have taken in the centre and we were losing centre bounce clearances as much as anything else and it is going the other way and so that was very disappointing.

We missed Marshall tonight, no doubt, and we must wait. But he will be back and Paddy Ryder might be 1-2 weeks away so we have to do something about it.

You have had similar issues over recent weeks, what might that come down to?

We move forward three steps and go back five. That is a bit that we cannot pick and choose in this space and the game has gone back to a lot of contested ball, disputed ball, and it is an area of the game that was highlighted when we started playing and it is more than ever now and the games are longer and last year was a shortened form of the game but you have to be good in the space.

Do you think you might have to make a statement at the selection table to drive the message home?

Yes and no. We have given players the opportunity to bounce back and that was something that happened this week and Nick Coffield has not been in super form but it was pleasing tonight and he has started to mark the ball and on a night when we played poorly in the second half, we have had some players that have got their form going and I suppose the ball was down there so much that he had to join in.

We have given players the chance to bounce back and we have still got a fair few on the injury list and I think there are a few returning this week that are playing their first game so we can’t touch them yet.

There were about four missed shots in the first half, they might not have changed the result, but momentum is a big deal

I think that is something that we were very good at last year with the efficiency going forward and the scoring and the accuracy was through the roof but the game has thrown as different challenges and there are crowds and there were no crowds for the first half of last year and they come into play.

We will keep working on. You have talked about the forwards. I think that King will be a good player for the club and he is working through that and getting into a routine and we also have Tim [Membrey] who is a very good player so no one is wanting to miss goals. It would be nice to put them under some scoreboard pressure early and that might help the momentum and confidence levels and things like that because they do sway in games.

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Disappointing Saints no match for red-hot Tigers on Thursday night football

Richmond is back on the winners list in style, making a lacklustre Saints pay to record a thumping 86-point victory at Marvel Stadium.

The Tigers started like they had a point to prove, kicking the first two goals of the game within the first seven minutes and dominating field position.

But as the opening minutes of the game progressed, the Saints adjusted to take a two-point lead into quarter time, largely on the back of Max King who was a dominant presence early before fading.

Despite being outplayed around the ground in the second term, Richmond made their limited opportunities count and with just four seconds remaining before the main break, Tom Lynch kicked a goal which put his side up by 25 points.

It’s a stretch of footy that the Saints would live to regret.

“They are butchering the ball going forward,” former St Kilda midfielder Nick Dal Santo said on AFL Nation about the Saints’ ball use in the second quarter.

A Shane Edwards snap within the first five minutes of the third quarter effectively killed off the contest, as Hardwick’s side took complete control.

St Kilda attempted to mount a comeback and kicked consecutive goals later in that term, but that was snuffed out soon after following a shrewd bit of tap work by unlikely ruckman Marlion Pickett.

It was that moment which highlighted just how much the Saints miss both Rowan Marshall – who was a late omission – and Paddy Ryder, who is back at the club and could play next week.

In Maddie’s Match – now one of the highlights on the footy calendar – Jack Riewoldt was superb, kicking five goals and running St Kilda’s defence ragged all night.

The Tigers haven’t lost three or more consecutive games since 2017, where they lost four straight matches between rounds six and nine before going on to eventually win the premiership.

Based on the way they played on Thursday night, it’ll be a long time until they lose a long stretch of matches again.

Here’s everything you need to know!

Tigers footy is back

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick’s constant theme across his success-laden run has been to emphasise the importance of his players implementing ‘Tigers footy’, characterised by numbers around the contest and a pressure-first mantra with and without the ball.

While that style was absent two weeks ago against the Swans, it was back last week – albeit it in a loss to Port Adelaide – and continued during Thursday night’s win.

Just as the Saints looked to be gaining a foothold in the game in the second term, a combination of pressure and errant kicking in front of goal from the opposition kept the scores close and eventually allowed them to pile on scoreboard pressure to take control.

There’s no doubt Hardwick would’ve been pleased with his side’s output on the night.

St Kilda has a problem with Brad Hill

The high-profile Saints recruit has been under all sorts of pressure in the early part of the season, with his performance coming under the spotlight in the aftermath of the club’s heavy loss to Essendon in Round 3.

The heat on Hill is set to ramp up significantly again following another underwhelming performance, after he had just 10 touches (one contested) and crucially, failed to lay a single tackle all night.

He was far from alone in being beaten on the night against a hardened Tigers outfit, but considering the expectations on him in the St Kilda side to be driver of good ball use and constant two-way running, he was found wanting again.

Higgins faces off against his old club

St Kilda was outplayed for most of the night, but through the former Tiger, they were able to find two goals and someone always willing to apply pressure inside forward 50.

Higgins was fired up throughout the evening in his first meeting against his old and he was one of St Kilda’s most dangerous forwards.

Another former Tiger – Dan Butler – didn’t feature heavily but in Higgins, the Saints at least had someone who didn’t stop competing on a poor night for the club.

What’s next?

The task for St Kilda doesn’t get any easier next week, as they head to Adelaide for a Sunday night ANZAC Day blockbuster against Port Adelaide.

The Tigers will face off against Melbourne in the now traditional ANZAC Eve clash against Melbourne, in a game that has become one of the highlights of the year.


St Kilda: 3.4, 4.5, 6.6, 7.6 (48)

Richmond: 3.3, 8.6, 15.12, 20.14 (134)


St Kilda: Lonie 2, Higgins 2, King, Butler, Hunter

Richmond: Riewoldt 5, Lynch 3, Graham 3, Castagna 2, Rioli 2, Aarts, Edwards, Bolton, Martin, Pickett


St Kilda: Clark, Steele, Coffield

Richmond: Martin, Edwards, Bolton, Riewoldt, Lynch

Reports: Nil


St Kilda: Webster (groin), replaced by Long

Richmond: Nil

Crowd: 32,056 at Marvel Stadium

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‘Mix and match’ UK Covid vaccine trial expanded

A major UK trial looking at whether Covid vaccines can be mixed with different types of jabs used for first and second doses is being expanded.

Combining vaccines might give broader, longer-lasting immunity against the virus and new variants of it, and offer more flexibility to vaccine rollout.

Adults over 50 who have had a first dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca can apply to take part in the Com-Cov study.

Their second dose could be the same again, or a shot of Moderna or Novavax.

Chief investigator on the trial, Professor Matthew Snape, from the Oxford Vaccine Group, said he hoped to recruit 1,050 volunteers who have already received one dose on the NHS in the past 8-12 weeks.

More than 800 people are already taking part in the research and have received two doses of either Pfizer, AstraZeneca or a mix.

Results of this first stage are expected next month, and the expanded trial should have some reportable findings by June or July – although the study will run for a year.

Health experts generally agree that the mixing and matching of the vaccines should be safe. The trial will check for any side-effects or unwanted reactions.

Participants will have blood taken to check how well the vaccines trigger an immune response – in the form of antibodies and T cells – to combat Covid.

Prof Snape said: “If we can show that these mixed schedules generate an immune response that is as good as the standard schedules, and without a significant increase in the vaccine reactions, this will potentially allow more people to complete their Covid-19 immunisation course more rapidly.

“What I’m hoping is that we won’t rule out any combinations.

“That’s how we need to look at it: are there any combinations we shouldn’t be giving, because they don’t generate a good immune response? And I’m hoping that won’t be the case.”

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Daniil Medvedev has tested positive to COVID-19 after match with Rafael Nadal in Monte Carlo

World tennis number two Daniil Medvedev has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been withdrawn from this week’s Monte Carlo Masters, the ATP says. 

The Russian, who was seeded second behind top-ranked Novak Djokovic at the ATP Masters 1000 event on clay, has been put in isolation and is being monitored by the tournament and ATP medical teams, the men’s tennis governing body said in a statement.

“It’s a big disappointment not to play in the Monte-Carlo,” Medvedev said in the statement.

The ATP on Monday posted a video of Medvedev’s practice session in Monte Carlo with Spaniard Rafael Nadal.

The governing body did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Nadal’s participation in the tournament.

Medvedev, who had a first-round bye, was scheduled to play the winner of the match between Serbian Filip Krajinović and Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia before testing positive.

Medvedev, who lives in Monte Carlo, was replaced in the draw by Argentinian Juan Ignacio Londero.


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Bushfire recovery cricket match attracts hundreds of people one year on from fires

Two bushfire-affected communities in Victoria’s east have competed in the inaugural Sandhill Ashes in a bid to attract local crowds more than one year on from the devastating 2019/2020 fires which tore through parts of the Gippsland region.

Hundreds of people gathered to watch mixed social teams from Clifton Creek and Sarsfield battle it out, with the Sarsfield side taking the game home by one run, 144 to 143.

The match was borne from a local bushfire recovery survey and was played under Twenty20 rules.

Co-organiser and Sarsfield player Phil Schneider said the day was a great way for the neighbouring communities to reconnect after bushfires and COVID-19 lockdowns.

“I think bushfire towns were forgotten a bit during the pandemic, but now that everything has started to relax it’s the perfect way to bring everyone together and have a laugh at ourselves on the field,” he said.

The match garnered support and funding from several Gippsland community groups which Mr Schneider said had helped Sarsfield and surrounding towns to organise a number of new and exciting local events.

“We’ve had small movie and trivia nights, but this cricket match is the first big event since the fires. It’s been so good for our spirits especially after all the tragedy,” Mr Schneider said.

“It’s onwards and upwards from here.”

The two teams competed for a replica ashes urn made from a piece of tea tree salvaged from a peat paddock fire that burned for weeks on a nearby farm.

The coordinator of the Sarsfield Recovery Hub, Neil Smith, helped craft the special urn and said it held historic local significance.

“It was pretty well preserved so I collected a few bits of it … and when the Sandhill Ashes were proposed I took the pieces down to a wood turner in Lake Tyers and we worked together to make it what it is.”

Locals have not just been busy picking up their bats and brushing up on their cricket skills.

A grassroots photography project titled Sarsfield Snaps has children and young people from across East Gippsland capturing moments important to them while their communities recover.

Head of the initiative Tiana Felmingham said the program received a 20-camera donation from Fuji Film in February last year, and she is expecting more cameras to arrive in coming months.

“We have over 50 kids now and the program has really helped to build their self esteem,” she said.

“We have a calendar that the kids made last year, large prints have been displayed all over the outside of the recovery hub, and we’re even planning exhibitions in Melbourne and Canberra,” Ms Felmingham said.

Twelve-year-old participant Ashley Wolf said she enjoyed learning new skills and making new friends.

“Sometimes it can be really hard for us to express how we’re feeling and communicate with everyone how we’re coping, so taking Snaps has really helped.”

The project was recently granted $40,000 from the Bushfire Recovery Appeal which will help to develop a short film through young eyes.

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Canadian Olympic wrestler turned pro fighter loses finger during MMA match

Canadian MMA fighter Khetag Pliev had his finger surgically re-attached after it was severed during his co-main event bout with Devin Goodale at the Cage Fury Fighting Championship in Philadelphia on Thursday night.

Pliev, the former Olympic freestyle wrestler turned professional MMA fighter, told event promoter Rob Haydak that his finger was dislocated in the first round of the middleweight fight before it completely came off in the second.

ESPN reported that there was an announcement made at the venue to search the stray digit before Haydak said it had been lodged in Pliev’s glove.

Goodale was ruled the winner by a second-round technical knockout.

“In the second round, he [Goodale] caught my glove with one hand and held it,” Pliev was quoted as saying by ESPN. “I felt my finger snapped.

“He kept pulling my glove and my finger snapped. We kept fighting. When the second round was finished, I see my [bone] was out in the open.

“I wanted to keep fighting because I felt like I had this guy. But the doctor saw that and stopped the fight.”

Goodale said he did not remember what happened.

“I got hit by something big, I don’t remember what happened. I’m just being honest,” Goodale was quoted as saying by the Guardian. “I’ll have to watch the tape myself.” 

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England v Poland: Full match preview and stats for World Cup qualifier

Steven Gerrard scored the last time England played Poland in October 2013
Venue: Wembley Date: Wednesday, 31 March Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Mason Mount should be fit for England’s World Cup 2022 qualifier against Poland at Wembley on Wednesday, says Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate.

Midfielder Mount, 22, had been a doubt after failing to appear for the warm-up before Tuesday’s training session.

“He did the rest of the session so he should be fine,” added Southgate.

Poland’s Grzegorz Krychowiak, who tested positive for Covid-19 along with Kamil Piatkowski, is allowed to feature after a second test came back negative.

Robert Lewandowski is injured, while Mateusz Klich and Lukasz Skorupski previously tested positive for Covid.

Speaking about the availability of Krychowiak, Poland head coach Paulo Sousa said: “It’s a huge boost, with his quality and experience.”

England are looking for a third successive win in this qualifying campaign after beating San Marino and Albania.

Chelsea’s Mount started both of those games and Southgate could call on his services again for what is a key game in qualifying.

England start two points clear of Poland at the top of Group I.

‘I’ve got no worries about Kane’

This is England’s final competitive game before they face Croatia on 13 June in the delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

Speculation over the future of Three Lions captain Harry Kane has been present throughout this international camp with the Tottenham striker yet to win any major silverware with his club side.

Spurs are sixth in the Premier League table, three points off a Champions League spot, while they face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final on 25 April.

Southgate does not expect Kane to be distracted by the speculation, with the European Championship looming.

“He is always focused on the next match, he’s someone who can absolutely put anything to one side,” added the England boss.

“I’ve got no worries about Harry Kane, he’s a fantastic professional.

“I had a chat with him and he’s very positive about the club. He was speaking about being close to Champions League and the League Cup final.”

Kane, who scored one and made one in Sunday’s 2-0 win away to Albania, is poised to win his 53rd England cap against Poland.

England are two points clear the top of Group I in World Cup 2022 qualifying

‘Southgate has one of the best national teams’

Poland arrive at Wembley on the back of a 3-0 win over Andorra on Sunday.

But the loss of Lewandowski, who scored two in that game and another in the previous qualifier, a 3-3 draw with Hungary, to a knee injury is a major blow.

Southgate, though, believes Poland are a team full of quality despite Lewandowski’s absence.

“From our perspective you’re going to have some players very hungry to fill that opportunity,” he said.

“They’re a proud country and proud players. We need to keep stepping up.”

Poland boss is Sousa, has experience managing in England and Wales with QPR, Swansea and Leicester.

“The Premier League is the best league in the world and Gareth Southgate has one of the best national teams in the world,” said the Portuguese.

“We need to take care with the spaces between the lines and to defend well the space behind our defensive line.”

Match facts

  • England have lost just one of their 19 matches against Poland (W11 D7), losing 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier in June 1973 in Chorzow.
  • The Three Lions have won their past seven home matches against Poland, a run stretching back to 1989.
  • This is the seventh World Cup group stage qualification campaign to see England face Poland, the most of two nations in the history of European World Cup qualifying.
  • England have lost just one of their past 49 World Cup/European Championship qualifying matches, losing 2-1 against the Czech Republic in October 2019. At home, the Three Lions are unbeaten in 29 qualifiers (W26 D3), winning each of their past 19.
  • Since losing three games in the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign (including defeat by England), Poland have lost just three of their subsequent 32 matches in World Cup/European Championship qualifying (W23 D6).
  • Nick Pope has kept a clean sheet in each of his six England appearances, the first Three Lions goalkeeper not to concede in any of their first six caps.

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AFL news 2021: Brisbane lockdown moves Broncos to Sydney, causes chaos for Lions v Collingwood match

The Brisbane Lions are going to have to do some more clothes shopping.

The AFL team were left stranded in Melbourne over the weekend after a new COVID-19 threat emerged in their home state.

Players were spotted out buying clothes to wear after originally intending to fly home the day after Friday night’s match against Geelong — and they’ll need to stock up again after Queensland recorded 10 new cases of COVID-19 overnight, including four locally acquired infections.

It’s prompted a snap three-day lockdown in Brisbane after all of the new cases were confirmed as the “highly infectious” mutant UK strain of the virus.

“That lockdown will be for greater Brisbane, which is Brisbane, Logan, Moreton Bay, Ipswich and Redlands and will commence at 5:00pm this afternoon,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

It leaves not only the AFL but the NRL fixture in a precarious position as league officials scramble to pull off this weekend’s matches.

Here’s where each of the codes stands:

NRL: Broncos relocating to Sydney

media_cameraJust when Broncos fans had something to cheer about … (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The NRL has decided to relocate the Broncos, who will fly out of Brisbane for the next two weeks to avoid being caught up in the unfolding COVID-19 situation.

Kevin Walters’ men will fly to Sydney on Monday afternoon and set up a mini-hub for a fortnight, remaining in the Harbour City until at least after their round five game against South Sydney.

Friday’s match between the Broncos and Storm in Melbourne is still expected to go ahead as planned, with Brisbane to fly into Victoria from Sydney before the match.

Interim Broncos CEO Neil Monaghan said: “The players and staff have taken the changes in their stride, and while it’s tough on many of our team with young families, they are keen to get on the road and prepare for a great challenge against the Storm.

“We will then stay in Sydney to get ready for the Rabbitohs game, which will ensure the continuity of the competition.

“Coach Kev Walters and all the players and staff are seeing this time on the road as a great opportunity to further strengthen their team bond, especially coming off the back of a morale boosting win.”

The Australian’s Brent Read reports the NRL is considering a contingency plan of moving Brisbane’s game against the Storm to Sydney, and making Friday night a double header along with the Bulldogs vs Rabbitohs clash, if any complications arise.

“NRL believed to be considering a double header at ANZ Stadium on Friday night as part of their contingency planning,” Read tweeted. “Would involve moving Brisbane-Melbourne to Sydney, although would be a last resort and only if forced on them by government protocols.”

The Cowboys are also slated to play the Sharks at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday and the NRL was considering chartered flights directly from Townsville.

AFL: Lions will have to play in Melbourne

Mitch Robinson and the Lions are in a spot of bother. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
media_cameraMitch Robinson and the Lions are in a spot of bother. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The Brisbane Lions’ premiership hopes are fading by the day as they prepare to fight out of an 0-2 hole on the road.

A shock defeat to Sydney in round one and a one-point loss to Geelong has left the flag fancies behind the eight ball and they now face the prospect of playing their round three match against Collingwood in Melbourne instead of Brisbane.

The AFL has announced Thursday night’s match between the Lions and the Magpies will be moved from the Gabba to Marvel Stadium.

It’s a blow to Brisbane because the Easter Thursday blockbuster against one of the league’s biggest clubs is one of its largest money-spinners for the year. But club bosses will hope to recoup the losses in round 22, when the Lions-Magpies clash previously scheduled for Marvel will now be held at the Gabba.

Brisbane, which trained in Port Melbourne on Monday morning and had expected to fly home this afternoon before Ms Palaszczuk’s announcement, is likely to spend three rounds on the road because its week five match is against the Bulldogs in Bendigo.

AFL journalist Jon Ralph reported four Lions players flew into Melbourne as reinforcements, and will be able to join the team after getting a test, isolating and receiving a negative result.

The AFL may also need to consider relocating the Gold Coast Suns if the situation in Brisbane spreads to other parts of Queensland. The Suns are scheduled to play the Crows in Adelaide on Friday night.

— with

Originally published as Virus boots Broncos out of Brisbane

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Brisbane COVID lockdown forces Lions’ match to Melbourne, Broncos relocate to Sydney

Australia's major sporting codes are again dealing with a significant COVID-19 disruption after Brisbane was plunged into a minimum three-day lockdown.,The Queensland government on Monday confirmed “significant” further community transmission of coronavirus since last week's outbreak.,Greater Brisbane — including the Logan, Moreton Bay, Ipswich and Redlands areas — will go into lockdown at 5:00pm AEST on Monday.,The Brisbane Lions' AFL home game against Collingwood at the Gabba on Thursday night has now been moved to Docklands stadium in Melbourne.,The round 22 match between the two sides that had been scheduled for Docklands will now be moved to the Gabba.,”In the interest of the health and safety of both clubs and the wider community we have made the decision to move the match to [Docklands stadium],” AFL general manager of broadcasting Travis Auld said in a statement.,”I would like to thank both clubs for their patience and understanding of the evolving situation.”,The Lions had been stuck in limbo in Victoria since last Friday night's loss to Geelong, awaiting further updates on Brisbane's developing virus situation.,The Lions trained at Port Melbourne on Monday after being told on Sunday they would have to stay in Melbourne at least another day.,The AFL confirmed on Monday evening the Suns would travel to Adelaide on Tuesday morning via a chartered flight from the Gold Coast.,The Suns are scheduled to play the Crows at Adelaide Oval on Good Friday.,”The Gold Coast Suns satisfy the current border guidelines in place and are able to travel to South Australia,” an AFL statement read.,”While the Suns are not currently in a COVID-19 hot spot, the AFL continues to take precautions as a result of the ongoing pandemic.,”While the pandemic continues to impact the community, the health and welfare of everyone in the game and in the community remains the priority and the AFL is committed to delivering a full season in a safe manner anchored in the advice of public health officials and medical experts.”,The Brisbane Broncos NRL team have altered their plans ahead of Friday night's clash with the Melbourne Storm.,They were set to fly to Melbourne on Tuesday, but instead travelled to Sydney on a private charter flight on Monday afternoon and will remain away from Brisbane until after their round-five match against the Rabbitohs on April 8.,The team and football staff will base themselves in Sydney to prepare for the match against the Storm in Melbourne.,Following the match, they will return to Sydney to prepare for the Rabbitohs encounter on Thursday week.,The club released a statement on Monday afternoon saying a decision on the team's return to Brisbane after the Rabbitohs match would depend on “how the COVID lockdown plays out”.,North Queensland and Cronulla are considering charter flights to the Sunshine Coast for their NRL clash on Saturday so they can avoid flying through Brisbane.,Gold Coast Titans host the Canberra Raiders at home on Saturday, with that match likely to go ahead because the city is not part of the Brisbane lockdown, although the Titans are waiting for guidance from the Queensland government.,Queensland's cricketers will be relocated to Sydney this afternoon ahead of one-day and Sheffield Shield fixtures.,The Bulls have a one-day match against NSW at North Sydney Oval on Wednesday ahead of a Shield fixture against the Blues in Wollongong from Saturday.,The Queensland Reds have remained in Sydney since their Super Rugby win over the Waratahs on the weekend and will fly direct to Melbourne this week for Saturday's meeting with the Rebels.,Brisbane Roar's A-League clash with Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday could also be affected.,Meanwhile, Brisbane's W-League side has qualified for the right to host a home semi-final on either Sunday, April 4 or Monday, April 5, which is now in jeopardy.,The NBL's Brisbane Bullets are due to host South East Melbourne Phoenix on Friday.,AAP/ABC

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Brisbane Lions v Collingwood Magpies Thursday night match set to move to Melbourne, likely Marvel Stadium


The AFL confirmed the switch of venues and said the return match between the Magpies and the Lions, which was scheduled for Marvel in round 22, would now be played at the Gabba.

“In the interest of the health and safety of both clubs and the wider community we have made the decision to move the match to Marvel Stadium,” said Travis Auld, the AFL’s general manager of broadcasting and clubs.

“Marvel Stadium was the scheduled venue for the return match between these two clubs later in the season, which made the decision to switch the venues as per the fixture the appropriate choice,” he added.

“As we continue to navigate the ongoing pandemic, we are constantly ensuring we have the contingencies in place to best combat any challenges that are presented.”

Speaking at a press conference after the announcement, Auld said the AFL was keeping an eye on other regions of Queensland.

“The focus is on how other states will treat Queensland and Brisbane. There could be some knock on,” he added.

The Lions’ clash with the Pies was originally scheduled for the Gabba on Thursday night.Credit:Getty Images

Fans who bought tickets to the Gabba match can use their tickets for the return clash in round 22 or receive a refund, while tickets for Thursday’s match at Marvel will go on sale on Tuesday. The league is optimistic of a decent crowd despite the short notice and the Easter Thursday timeslot.

The Lions are expected to take a financial hit from the relocation.


One further reason to move the game is that the Lions’ players will face issues with training if they return to Brisbane.

Collingwood have not agitated at all for the game to be shifted, since their preference was for the return game against the Lions late in the season to remain.

Earlier on Monday morning, the Lions trained at Port Melbourne.

Coach Chris Fagan said the players were beginning to get their heads around the idea of being in Melbourne for longer than initially intended.

The AFL on Monday night was expecting that Sydney, which played in Brisbane on March 20, would be fine to head to Melbourne to play Richmond on Saturday.

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