The AFL has greenlit the first afternoon preliminary final in seven years, but the possibility of the final being hit with harsh weather conditions has increased, thanks to the hot temperatures that have been plaguing Perth so far in one of their hotter Septembers.
West Coast’s home preliminary final will be held at Optus Stadium at 1.20 Perth time, allowing both Melbourne and Hawthorne the chance to return home in good time and prepare for the grand finale, should either see victory over the Eagles.
It’s the first afternoon prelim since 2011, when Geelong hosted West Coast at the MCG. West Coast has also played in a pre-lim final against a Victorian team three years ago where the team bested North Melbourne by 25 points. That game, however, was originally scheduled as a twilight fixture.
Another elimination final played in 2012 saw the same teams facing each other at 3:15 in the afternoon, the game was played in 29-degree heat, and saw the Eagles thrash North Melbourne by 96 points in total. The Kangaroos players undoubtedly struggled in the heat, with some struck by heat stroke on the plane ride home.
Since then, the league has come under intense fire by Eddie McGuire for its scheduling, with the Collingwood president is unhappy that his players would have to sit through a six-day break in the wait for the preliminary final if they manage to beat GWS.
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