Fee fi fo fum, not good look at stadium
IF the GWS Giants win a final and no one’s around to see it ... You know the rest. The Giants turned it on at Spotless Stadium on Saturday night, crushing the West Coast Eagles in their sudden-death semi-final by 68 points.
It was unfortunate for them and the game in general in Sydney that a measly crowd of just 14,865 turned up.
It was the lowest number to attend a final since 1916 when 9690 watched Fitzroy win a semi-final against Collingwood by six points at the MCG.
Pretty reasonable excuse back then .... World War I and all.
It’s not like the Giants didn’t put on a great show, particularly old man Stevie J, who wound back the clock on his return to the side to boot six goals.
But, it just goes to show how much work the AFL still has to do in the country’s biggest city in attracting fans that aren’t already aligned to the Sydney Swans.
As was pointed out, there were plenty of empty seats at the ground, including on the wings, visible at centre bounces, and behind the goals at both ends, making it glaringly obvious on television.
The backdrop to Spotless resembled a (regular season) NRL game, with clearly few Eagles fans making the trip across the country too.
But it was league who was laughing over the weekend, registering a rare win in the attendance stakes.
They beat their AFL counterparts by more than 9000 people across the codes’ semi-finals weekend.
It was in stark contrast to the previous week’s finals when the AFL’s figure was three times that of the NRL’s.
Of course, that victory will be short-lived with Melbourne hosting an NRL preliminary final against Brisbane, and the Sydney Roosters welcoming North Queensland this weekend.
All AFL roads lead to the Adelaide Oval on Friday night when Patrick Dangerfield confronts the Crows. There will easily be 50,000-plus there.
Danger’s first return last year saw 53,141 attend the Crows-Cats clash, while the record attendance of 53,698 was posted during a Crows-Power showdown earlier this season.
The following night, however, will be unlike anything seen for some time when Richmond hosts the Giants at the MCG.
A grand total of 95,028 watched the Tigers take on Geelong last weekend, with obviously quite a few Cats supporters in the crowd.
How many GWS fans will there be among the 95,000 this time?
Last year’s qualifying final between GWS and Sydney at ANZ Stadium drew a crowd of 60,222.
But it’s the only time the Giants’ have played in front of more than 46,000.
They are in for a rude awakening this Saturday arvo.
You can bet the Tiger Army will be making one hell of a sound.
“The best advice you can give is to kick a few goals early because they won’t be cheering too hard if we’re kicking goals,” Giants defender Heath Shaw said.