Records could tumble in AFL shocker

There are AFL matches in September that get the pulse racing – champion teams squaring off in brutal, see-sawing contests that are remembered for generations.

And then there is Melbourne v Greater Western Sydney.

With finals an impossibility for both teams, predictions of record-low Melbourne crowds are being made for the Father’s Day meeting.

In their AFL infancy, the Giants struggle to attract more than a couple of dozen flag-wavers to their Melbourne away days.

Making matters worse, the clash will be held at Etihad Stadium, where the Demons do not pull a crowd and simply cannot win.

Melbourne’s last win at the Docklands venue came more than eight years ago in a noxious run stretching 22 games.

Home crowds for the Demons over the past four years average just over 16,000 – well down on this year’s MCG pull of 31,300.

The stars seem to have aligned for a shot at beating the all-time worst crowd at Etihad Stadium; achieved in 2003 when the last-placed Western Bulldogs hosted Fremantle in front of just 12,542.

The match has led Collingwood great and commentator Tony Shaw to an obvious conclusion.

“Open the gates!” he said on Melbourne’s radio 3AW.

“Oh boy … I think we might get a new record.”

A Demon optimist would at least say the match – one of just two without a finalist involved – could be a close-run thing.

An Etihad Stadium spokesperson declined to give their crowd forecast for Sunday.

But the venue does have a few things pulling in its direction; regular Sunday specials – $3 pies and free entry for under-15s – will continue.

As for kick-to-kick after the game, there could well be plenty of room.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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