Lions coach calls out ‘unfair benefit’, AFL responds to Gabba blackout farce

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The AFL says its happy with how Friday evening’s extraordinary mid-game blackout was dealt with, however Brisbane’s coach believes Melbourne got an “unfair benefit” earlier than the sport restarted.

The Lions defeated the Demons 14.9 (93) to 13.4 (82) victory, which might have been way more comfy if not for the floodlights at The Gabba going out in the course of the fourth quarter.

With the sector in pitch black, the sport stopped as gamers and followers regarded on in amusement.

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A globe in one of many floodlights was flickering with a flame, suggesting it had exploded and triggered the facility outage in a loud bang.

Play ultimately resumed after a 38-minute delay, which proved to be a critical momentum shifter. The final quarter went for 69 minutes — the longest time period in V/AFL historical past.

The Demons have been lacklustre for a lot of the recreation however kicked 5 straight objectives to complete the sport, trimming the margin from 40 to 11 factors.

Lions coach Chris Fagan mentioned the delay was “method too lengthy” and wasn’t pleased the Demons received extra time to heat up on the sector earlier than play resumed.

“The opposite factor that occurred was, we have been instructed to remain within the rooms, and Melbourne have been warming up on the bottom for 5 minutes. That was an unfair benefit,” Fagan mentioned.

“It was an unparalleled scenario, actually.”

AFL common supervisor of competitors administration Laura Kane mentioned the league was usually proud of the dealing with of the blackout given the circumstances.

“It’s not the primary time we’ve had one thing occur,” Kane instructed SEN.

“And to be sincere, after a few years of Covid I believe we’re as versatile as we’ve ever been, and we’re in a position to navigate the scenario fairly properly. So, we are going to debrief, however I used to be actually happy with how final evening rolled out,” she mentioned.

“We’re seeing some distinctive soccer, the competitors’s shut, and it have to be our precedence each for the golf equipment and to the followers at dwelling to ensure we full play each recreation.”

Brisbane held on for a deserved win, avoiding what would have been an unmitigated catastrophe had Melbourne snatched victory after the blackout.

The Lions successfully misplaced 13 for-and-against share factors as soon as play resumed, which might properly have an effect on the place they end on the ladder come the top of the season.

“It felt fallacious on Brisbane’s behalf,” commentator Gerard Whateley mentioned on SEN.

Hawthorn legend Dermott Brereton added: “Brisbane had performed the arduous work and it’s honest sufficient for them to say ‘we’ve performed the arduous work, we don’t have to get injured … I believed it was fairly unfair on Brisbane.”

Kane mentioned: “I believe if you happen to’re a Melbourne supporter, you’d take each one of many 5 objectives they kicked when the play resumed as a result of that may very well be the distinction between high 4, it may very well be the distinction between high eight.

“We all know that it goes all the way down to the wire with share, in order that for us was, you recognize, however the venue and play being protected to proceed, which was clearly the primary precedence, the second is to get these 12 minutes of the sport performed.”

The farcical scenes despatched AFL followers into hysterics and evoked reminiscences of the same circumstance when the floodlights went out within the 1996 match between St Kilda and Essendon at Waverley Park.

A Massive Bash League cricket recreation in 2019 was deserted at The Gabba after the lights went off resulting from a Brisbane energy failure.

The Gabba reportedly doesn’t have a back-up energy provide for its floodlights — one thing that can certainly be addressed as a part of a $2.7 billion redevelopment for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

That improve will solely add 14,000 seats to the venue, however a brilliant battery should now be on the agenda to keep away from a blackout in the course of the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

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