AFL fixture: West Coast Eagles v Melbourne could shift to Monday night football amid QLD COVID chaos

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Catherine HealeyThe West Australian
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The Eagles leave the field after their Monday night loss at Optus Stadium.
Camera IconThe Eagles leave the field after their Monday night loss at Optus Stadium. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos

The Eagles and Dockers may have escaped the immediate repercussions of today’s snap three-day lockdown in Queensland, but the decision to postpone matches is going to shake up future fixtures.

Melbourne, one of the hardest hit teams of today’s announcement after flying to the Gold Coast to only be turned around and sent back to Victoria, had been scheduled to arrive in Perth tonight after taking on the Suns.

But with the game put off until tomorrow as part of the AFL’s revamped Super Sunday fixture, the Demons will be unable to satisfy the WA Government’s seven-day quarantine, which has been followed by a host of teams including St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs in recent weeks.

The Western Derby could also be shifted to accommodate the arriving Brisbane Lions, with the team scheduled to take on Fremantle in round 21 and West Coast in round 23.

By moving that Eagles match forward, the Lions could then play back-to-back games in WA before returning home. pushing the derby out to a final round blockbuster.

7NEWS reporter Ryan Daniels says the AFL will likely shift the Eagles-Demons match at Optus Stadium from next Saturday to Monday, August 9.

“Appears increasingly likely the West Coast Eagles v Melbourne FC clash for round 21 is switched from Saturday night, Aug 7… to Monday night, Aug 9,” he Tweeted.

“This is to allow the Demons time to fly in and play after 7 days of quarantine.”

Under the WA Government arrangement with the AFL, players and staff from interstate clubs can train and play while in hotel quarantine - usually at the Joondalup Resort.

The likely date change is set to again hinder the thousands of Eagles country members who were forced to miss out on the Round 17 loss to North Melbourne due to the Monday night timeslot.

Just 30,515 fans turned out for that clash — the Eagles lowest figure for 2021 for a match when crowds are permitted.

The AFL is set to announce the revised round 20 fixture later today.


10:10am: Gold Coast v Melbourne (Marvel Stadium)

12.10pm: Hawthorn v Brisbane (Launceston)1:10pm: Essendon v Sydney (MCG)

3.10pm: Fremantle v Richmond (Optus Stadium)4:10pm: GWS v Port Adelaide (Marvel Stadium)

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