The AFLW has demonstrated an excellent display of adaptability amidst the postponement of the qualifying final between Brisbane and Collingwood.
The encounter, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, March 19, has been postponed by eight days due to the Pies having fewer than 16 available players, courtesy of a COVID-19 outbreak at the club. Despite the change, the game will continue to take place at the Gabba this Sunday.
As the revelation became apparent, AFL Health and Safety Protocols dictated the aforementioned change in scheduling which further resulted in the subsequent finals encounters being pushed back by a week. As things currently sit, the remainder of the AFLW finals series will unfold as follows:
Sunday, March 27
Brisbane Lions vs. Collingwood at the Gabba, 12.05pm AEST
Saturday, April 2
Melbourne vs. Winner of Brisbane Lions vs. Collingwood
Adelaide Crows vs. Fremantle
NAB AFLW Grand Final
Saturday, April 9
Winner of Prelim 1 vs. Winner of Prelim 2
The grand final venue is subject to the outcomes of both preliminary finals, with the higher ranking ladder finish between the two winners determining a home ground advantage.
"We are pleased to be able to provide certainty to the W community and confirm the arrangements for the qualifying final, the preliminary finals and the NAB AFLW Grand Final, AFL general manager of women's football Nicole Livingstone informed the W community.
"We couldn't be prouder of the commitment from both clubs and everyone across the competition for the role they have played despite the many challenges we've faced. We congratulate all teams who have progressed through this stage of the competition, and we look forward to seeing which teams will play off in the Preliminary Finals and then the NAB AFLW Grand Final.
"We again acknowledge and commend those involved for the role they've played this season; clubs, players and the AFLPA, umpires, venues, governments, ticket agents, supporters and our broadcast and commercial partners for their unwavering support of the NAB AFL Women's Competition and we look forward to seeing all supporters at the footy during the Finals Series."
Sunday's contest places the reigning premiers against a talented Pies side that snapped up the final spot in the top six.
In their round five clash, Brisbane comfortably downed Collingwood by 24 points in what was a statement victory. Yet, with the extra week adding an element of chaos to their qualifying final in addition to the added element of finals footy, perhaps a tighter contest may ensue.
For those wishing to attend any of the NAB AFL Women’s Finals Series, entry will remain free for persons under 18 while a fee of $10 will be charged to all adults.