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Weather-wise, the AFL might have kicked a goal with Brisbane grand final

Anthony Sharwood, Thursday October 22, 2020 - 09:36 EDT

There's been talk all week in the lead-up to the AFL Grand Final that the match could be affected by thunderstorms.

Severe thunderstorms have of course played havoc with the traditional November Gabba cricket Test - which is usually just a few weeks later in the sporting calendar than this Saturday's AFL decider.

The most memorable storm was way back in 1992 when ground staff famously wore players' helmets to ward off hailstones the size of golf balls as they covered the pitch.

But there's now only a slight chance that the AFL will have to invoke its strict thunder and lightning protocols on Saturday evening, with only a 30 percent chance of a shower or storm forecast on the occasion of the AFL's first ever evening grand final, which starts at 7:30 pm AEDT.

It will also be nice and warm for fans in Brisbane this Saturday. The maximum temperature is forecast to reach 29°C and should remain in the low-to-mid twenties for much of the match.

So the move to Brisbane, which was forced by the Covid situation in Melbourne, may just prove to be a masterstroke, especially when you take into account the Melbourne forecast.

Had the match between the Geelong Cats and defending premiers the Richmond Tigers been played at the MCG this Saturday afternoon, fans could have expected a miserable day with morning rain followed by afternoon showers, with cold south-westerly winds and a top of just 16°C.

Interestingly, the temperature at the MCG this Saturday will likely be similar to the last three grand finals - when Melbourne's maximums were 14.9°C, 14°C and 15.4°C respectively.

Meanwhile the forecast is not looking so bright for Sunday evening's NRL Grand Final between the Penrith Panthers and Melbourne Storm in Sydney.

A gusty southerly change will sweep through the harbour city late on Saturday, keeping maximum temperatures below 20°C for much of Sydney on Sunday. Persistent showers are also likely.

An omen for the Melbourne Storm? Perhaps not.

When the Panthers won their last title in 2003, it rained the whole match. Penrith players will no doubt be watching motivational videos this week of the famous Scott Sattler tackle in the wet, which set the team on the path to premiership glory.

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