K rock Football

Cats to wait for Tigers re-match

Dejected Geelong players watch on as Richmond celebrates its 2020 premiership win. (AFL Photos Image/Matt Roberts)

GEELONG will have to wait until Round 8 to seek revenge for this year’s grand final defeat to Richmond in the AFL’s newly-released 2021 fixture.

The league has unveiled match-ups for all 23 rounds but dates and times only for the first six.

A floating fixture is in place from Round 7 onwards with the AFL opting for flexibility due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19 disruption.

The Tigers are scheduled to host Geelong at the MCG on the weekend of May 7-9.

Richmond secured its third premiership in four seasons when it beat the Cats by 31 points in October’s historic 2020 decider at the Gabba.

Monday’s fixture release comes a day after the AFL filtered out details of the opening round, confirming games would return to Victoria for the first time since July.

The league has experimented with Thursday night football during the past decade, but the timeslot will get even more exposure in 2021 with a number of blockbuster games.

The first five rounds of the season will all kick-off on Thursday nights, with Victorian powerhouses Richmond, Carlton and Collingwood all featuring in two games each.

Games will also return to Canberra and Tasmania after those destinations saw no men’s football played there in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“Bringing footy back to capital cities that faced a very uncertain and challenging time this year due to the COVID will be uplifting for not only the fans in those states but also for the teams themselves,” AFL fixture boss Travis Auld said.

“We begin season 2021 with a renewed level of optimism, focusing on delivering fans a blockbuster schedule of matches to open the season.”

“Having so many different clubs feature in marquee timeslots is testament to the success of the AFL’s equalisation policies.”


(C) AAP 2020