Blockbuster Dees-Lions to stay put

The ROUND Four blockbuster between Narrm and Brisbane is set to remain at Casey Fields.

There have been calls to move the potential preview of the final between the two undefeated teams to the sheltered surroundings of Marvel Stadium.

“The match will go ahead as scheduled,” an AFL spokesman said.

There is also a Bledisloe Cup rugby match between the Wallabies and the All Blacks on Thursday night at Marvel, with the AFLW match scheduled for 4.10pm on Sunday afternoon.

Melbourne players celebrate a win over Brisbane at Casey Fields in the 2021 Round 9. Image: AFL Photos

Brisbane manager Craig Starcevich fully backed the idea when asked after QClash’s Gold Coast win.

“The obvious answer is yes, and it’s more accessible for Melbourne audiences too because it’s away from the center of the city to watch two good teams go around,” Starcevich said.

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“The biggest barrier is probably the cost. Could you overcharge stadium games to offset your costs? People willingly pay $10 to come and watch those games. If you go up to $15 per admission for a stadium, I’m sure that wouldn’t deter people and it might offset your costs.

“The bottom line is if you have two of the best teams in the competition playing in the fourth round, I think in a venue and on a deck that suits the occasion, that probably makes sense, really.”

Dakota Davidson kicks under pressure in the 2021 Round 9. Image: AFL Photos

Narrm have an excellent record at the tricky site, which is subject to howling winds, playing well on the ground and knowing how to adapt the game plan to protect the ball.

The Lions beat the Demons by 15 points to Casey in the first-ever meeting between the two in the first round, 2017, but lost on the spot in 2018 (six points), 2021 (two) and earlier this year (three) .

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The Demons also beat Brisbane by four points in the 2022 Preliminary Final at the MCG.

For the duration of the AFLW Indigenous Round, the Demons will be rebranded as Narrm Football Club. Narrm is the Aboriginal name of Melbourne which comes from the Woi Wurrung language, spoken by the traditional owners of the city and surrounding areas.

Charles P. Patton