Lions unhappy with Dees’ power-outage advantage

Shayne Hope |

The AFL believes its emergency protocols were perfectly executed during the Gabba’s power outage but Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan felt Melbourne were handed an unfair advantage.

The Lions’ 40-point lead was slashed to 11 when Friday night’s contest resumed after a long delay, with the Demons booting five unanswered goals once the lights were turned back on.

“We were told to stay in the rooms and then we found out that Melbourne had been out on the ground for five or so minutes warming up,” Fagan told SEN on Saturday.

“That was a little bit of an unfair advantage.”

AFL rules allow for games to restart within an hour of being interrupted by events such as power outages or lightning strikes.

Play was halted for 38 minutes on Friday night – a break Fagan believes was “way too long”.

“If a game can’t be reconvened in 30 minutes, especially if it’s in the dying stages, then the game should be finalised and the result stands,” Fagan said.

“It’s a good thing for the AFL and the industry to discuss.

“Hopefully it doesn’t happen very often but we play football at night under lights, so I suppose it’s always a chance.”

Melbourne threatened to pinch what would have been a remarkable win despite Fagan predicting the late run.

He warned his side the Demons would throw caution to the wind, urging Brisbane to get their hands on the ball and slow the game down in the final minutes.

“They just got on a little bit of a roll and it was a little bit hard to stop,” Fagan said.

“Thank goodness we won, because we did deserve to win on the night.

“We played particularly well until the game was stopped and we had them on the ropes to a degree.

“They were looking pretty tired, it was a really hot night up in Brisbane, and that half-an-hour break re-energised them a little bit.

“Probably psychologically it was to their advantage – they had nothing to lose.”

AFL general manager of competition management Laura Kane said the league will review its handling of Friday night’s drama.

“It’s not the first time we’ve had something happen,” Kane told SEN.

“And to be honest, after a couple of years of COVID we’re as flexible as we’ve ever been, and we’re able to navigate the situation quite well.

“So we will debrief, but I was really pleased with how last night rolled out.”