MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 14: Harriet Cordner of the Tigers in action during the round two AFLW match between the Richmond Tigers and the Melbourne Demons at Punt Road Oval on January 14, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

Questions and criticism have been raised over the AFL's decision to schedule Saturday's AFLW semi-final between Richmond and North Melbourne at Punt Road in the early afternoon.

The league released its fixture for the second weekend of the AFLW Finals series after an enthralling opening week of results that saw Melbourne and Brisbane book themselves a home preliminary final each.

The pair of wins forced Adelaide and Richmond to bank on their second chance power to remain in the hunt for Season 7, with the Crows set to welcome Collingwood to Unley Oval at 3:10pm local time.

That match will commence two hours after the start of Richmond's semi-final against the Roos, who progressed through to the second week of the post-season thanks to a resilient performance against Geelong at Kardinia Park on Saturday night.

The victory, coupled with the Tigers' expected nature to bounce back from their 17-point defeat to the Lions, has Saturday's clash at the Swinburne Centre rightfully tipped to be a close contest.

The two sides played out a 27-all draw just over a week ago to end their respective home and away campaigns in front of over 3,147 fans at Arden Street, a spectacle the league will be hopeful of repeating this Saturday.

However, with Richmond granted the home final, Saturday's clash will be held at Punt Road in front of what will likely be a sold-out crowd set to a capacity of just over 2,000 fans.

While the label of a sell-out crowd is sure to have AFL House satisfied, the fact the attendance for Saturday's match could be double, if not more, is one that is sure to leave a bittersweet taste.

Melbourne were required to host their qualifying final away from their traditional home ground, instead welcoming Adelaide to Ikon Park - where the two clubs played out an enticing opening game for the finals in front of 2,555 fans.

With two Melbourne-based clubs set to play in a 'win or go home' encounter this weekend, it's easy to assume a crowd figure well over 4000 would be attainable should the clash between Richmond and North Melbourne be held elsewhere.

A crowd limited to 2,000 fans would be the smallest in AFLW finals history between two Melbourne teams, and would lower the average finals attendance currently set at over 3,000 for Season 7 following the opening weekend.

Adding to the bizarre scheduling for this weekend is the fact that Australia's women's football side, The Matildas, will take on Sweden in Melbourne's sporting precinct just over an hour after the opening bounce between the Tigers and Roos.

The clash of matches, which will be held within ear-shot of each other, also begs the question as to why either, or even both, semi-finals weren't held on a Friday and/or Saturday night in the customary prime time slots.

Tickets for both of this weekend's matches are set to go on sale on Monday afternoon, with a portion of Richmond and North Melbourne fans likely to be left on the outside of the fence at Punt Road.

The match is scheduled to commence at 1:40pm local time, with the winner to face Melbourne for a spot in the AFLW Grand Final.