I’m not sure what to make of the announcement that the AFL’s top two teams are headed to Sydney to face off in a grand final rematch, but that’s not really my focus.
I’m more interested in the reason that I feel so strongly about the two teams.
As a fan of both sides, I’ve been following the contest for a while.
And for the most part, the AFL has been on the right side of this issue.
There have been instances where the AFL and the NRL have disagreed, including in 2013 when the AFL banned a player from the NSW Warriors from the grand final.
But the AFL hasn’t been so quick to move to the other side, either.
In 2013, the NRL banned two players from the Sydney Swans because of their association with the club’s supporters group, and in 2016 the NRL did the same when they banned two Sydney Roosters players from participating in the Sydney Roosterfest.
So what has happened?
The NRL and AFL have been in negotiations for a long time, and I think it’s safe to say the two sides have reached an agreement.
If the two leagues can agree to a match between the top two sides, the other two leagues will have to consider it.
The NRL is the NRL, after all, so it’s a bit of a no-brainer.
Both leagues would have to make sure they didn’t overstep their boundaries by banning players who have a legitimate reason for doing so.
That means the NRL would have the power to ban players like Bryce Cartwright and Jordan Kahu from playing at least until the grand finals.
It would also mean that the other league would have some responsibility for how the players are treated if they are banned.
At the same time, the league would still have some freedom to make exceptions.
This could lead to some controversial decisions, but the only real risk is that the game will become more violent, with the two competing for the same fans.
Ultimately, it’s up to the league and player to make a decision.
After the finals, the top sides would go on to face each other in the grand Final, which would be the only time a grand finals rematch is allowed.
For now, though, the two league sides have agreed to a rematch, and it looks like the league is going to go in a slightly different direction than the NRL.
When will it happen?
I think it would be premature to make predictions, but based on what we’ve seen so far, I’m confident it won’t happen until 2019.
What’s the NRL and the AFL going to do about it?
Both leagues will be playing some form of media conference, where the league has the chance to answer any questions from the public.
They also will have some sort of media advisory board, which will give them the opportunity to discuss the situation and make their own decisions.
However, this will only happen if the AFL chooses to put a moratorium on the two games.
Again, I don’t know if this is going be a permanent ban, or if the NRL will go back to its old ways of keeping the two clubs separated and out of each other’s way.
Regardless, the only way I see this happening is if the league decides to play games on Friday nights, with no restrictions.
Will the two match up?
The answer is yes.
You can probably count on it.
I think there will be plenty of fanfare surrounding this rematch, especially with the Super Rugby season in full swing.
Although the AFL will be a bit more cautious, they’ll also have a chance to show their support for their players.
Even if the teams aren’t able to agree on a game plan, fans should be able to expect to see a full house at the MCG this weekend.
Let’s hope they don’t end up in a scrum after a scoreless draw.
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