The revamped AFLX divided opinion, but when the gamers have their manner the much-maligned idea is right here to remain.
Whether or not that’s the case or not will largely come all the way down to the tv scores after a smallish crowd turned out to assist Friday night time’s match at Marvel Stadium, gained by Jack Riewoldt’s Rampage.
The ultimate crowd determine of 23,828 appeared a contact beneficiant given the highest deck was closed, however there’s little doubt the AFL pulled out all of the stops to make it a family-friendly enjoyable time.
The gamers have been acquainted, as have been the talents – however that’s about the place the similarities to a standard night out on the AFL ended.
From the oblong pitch, with a mountain climbing wall at one nook and a bar diagonally reverse, to the light-up goalposts to the multi-coloured beanbags scattered alongside town wing to the fan zones and bubble machines – it was all a bit totally different.
On the sector, the ball pinged from finish to finish, there was the occasional excessive mark, with Riewoldt and Isaac Heeney knocking down the most important grabs of the night time.
Riewoldt shared one of many lighter moments with teammates Patrick Cripps, who transformed an NFL-style subject objective held by the Richmond star.
However with made-up guidelines, a notable lack of depth and no conventional group allegiances to get enthusiastic about it lacked the fervour of a standard AFL encounter and even an intra-club follow match.
“Ought to be referred to as AFL EX – by no means seen once more,” tweeted Hawthorn premiership participant Xavier Ellis.
“#AFLX Making an attempt to love it nevertheless it’s somewhat snoozy. What’s the decision?” former Adelaide coach Graham Cornes tweeted.
However chief AFLX spruiker Patrick Dangerfield, whose Bolts completed third, maintained critics missed the purpose.
“It polarises as a result of it’s so totally different,” Dangerfield stated.
“However it’s received to be totally different as a result of the subsequent technology, younger children now, are totally different. They see the sport in a distinct gentle.
“They’re much less inclined to comply with groups … they love following the celebrities – we’ve seen that abroad.
“I feel it (has a future) … when you will have the buy-in from the gamers – you could possibly see the enjoyment they and the followers had which was clear to see.”
It may need been a little bit of kick and giggle, however Riewoldt was genuinely delighted to propel his Rampage to a grand remaining win over Nat Fyfe’s Flyers.
With lower than 30 seconds left, Riewoldt transformed a set shot for a 20-point tremendous objective from a decent angle to present his facet an 84-67 win.
“It was good enjoyable … I beloved it,” Riewoldt stated.
“The sport was the ultimate to what has been a improbable final two days.
“It’s not fairly often that you simply get 50 of the most effective AFL gamers collectively with out their (personal) colors on, to place themselves in a weak place to attempt one thing new.
“I feel everybody completely beloved it.”
After a scratchy begin within the earlier matches, the grand remaining was a becoming finish to an evening of popcorn soccer enjoyable.
“I feel we noticed from the buy-in from the gamers that this idea has legs,” Fyfe stated.
“It doesn’t in any manner attempt to remove from common footy – it’s designed to be enjoyable and complement our sport.
“I feel it probably has a future.”
For the file, Eddie Betts’ Lethal group completed final with one win and two losses and no accidents have been reported.