It was a scorching day at the office for the West Coast Eagles and the triumphant Hawthorn as the 2015 AFL grand final was played out in record heat.
The mercury at Melbourne’s Olympic Park sports precinct peaked at 31.3C early in the game, beating the previous highest grand final day temperature of 30.7C set in 1987.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast for a hot Saturday was proven right, but pundits who thought a heat-hardened Eagles would have an edge missed the mark.
“It’s not unprecedented,” forecaster Rod Bickson said of the high heat in Melbourne in early October.
“It just happens to have fallen on a public event.”
The Eagles also had their feathers ruffled off-field, with former player Daniel Kerr forced to hose down damaging claims of drug abuse during the team’s 2006 premiership season.
Speaking at a grand final lunch, Kerr branded former teammate Daniel Chick “delusional” for saying he and Ben Cousins abused asthma medication to give him an edge during games.
The day started with the North Melbourne Grand Final Breakfast, which has a long tradition of lampooning VIP guests with music.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made his entrance to the tune of Billy Joel’s Second Wind.
Labor leader Bill Shorten walked in to the “haters gonna hate, hate, hate” chorus of Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, while Foreign Minister Julie Bishop entered to Elton John’s I’m Still Standing.
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan ribbed the new PM with a suggestion he introduce “an interchange cap on prime ministers”.
Mr Turnbull reflected on the challenges of this year’s AFL season with the death of Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh and the Adam Goodes booing controversy.
“It’s been a great competition but a tough year,” Mr Turnbull said.
Mr Shorten lightened the mood with a joke about how Ms Bishop’s support for the Eagles could bode well because “she always ends up on the winning side”.
Victorians turned out in massive numbers for the grand final, defying terrorism concerns after the tragic shooting of a police employee outside NSW Police headquarters in Sydney’s west on Friday.