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AFL grand final live updates: Tigers, Cats square off at the Gabba

The Gabba is a very happy hunting ground for both teams.

The Cats have won all five of their games there this year by an average of 53 points and the Tigers have won 11 of their 12 last at the venue, although their last game was a loss to the Lions in the first qualifying final.

However, Richmond have the wood over the Cats, winning five of their past six meetings (including two finals).

In lieu of a grand final at Melbourne’s MCG, a little of the southern state’s famously temperamental weather had made its way up north, with the Gabba’s ground saturated only hours before the first bounce.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued on Saturday afternoon for heavy rainfall and damaging winds over the Queensland capital, but the rains are expected to ease before the big dance.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Tom Delamotte said Brisbane had already received 30 millimetres of rain today, with more showers still on the way.

“They’ve had thunderstorms move through in the last hour or so. There’s still a little bit more wet weather to come,” he said.

“It is clear well out to the west of Brisbane, but we can expect some showers to come through for a few hours, but not as heavy as the storm that just moved across. The main area of thunderstorms has gone through for now.”

The AFL’s extreme weather policy states that if there is lightning within 10km of a ground, it’s recommended the game be postponed for at least 30 minutes to allow the storm to move further away.

Will Gary Ablett win a fairytale third premiership with his beloved Cats in his 357th and final AFL game, three years after returning home from Gold Coast?

Will Dustin Martin create history by becoming the first player to win three Norm Smith Medals?

Will Trent Cotchin achieve immortality by becoming the first three-time Richmond premiership skipper?

Will Patrick Dangerfield finally break through for his first premiership at the age of 30 after achieving just about everything else in the game?

Will Ablett and Joel Selwood record the equal-second longest gap between first and last flags by any player (13 years)?

Will the Tigers’ all-time total of nine three-time premiership players explode to 23 today?

Richmond are aiming for back-to-back premierships for the first time in 46 years, and they’ve never won three flags in four years before.

If the Tigers are triumphant, they will draw level with Hawthorn on 13 premierships.

Meanwhile, the Cats are gunning for a 10th flag and their first since 2011.

Cats fans in Geelong.

Cats fans in Geelong.Credit:Zach Hope

For these hardcore Cats fans, there was only one choice of venue for a pre-game picnic.

If it couldn’t be the Gabba, or the MCG, it had to GMHBA Stadium – Kardinia park – home of the Geelong Football Club.

“This is our MCG car park this year,” says “Catman”, aka Troy West.

The group is snacking on salami, dips, chips, and fruit. Kim Blair’s zucchini slice is long gone.

Why here, on the concrete and exposed to Geelong’s chilly afternoon winds?

“This is our home,” Ms Blair says. “This is where we belong today.”

New COVID-19 regulations in regional Victoria allow up to 10 people from different households to meet outside.

This means it’s the first time many in the group, most of them from the Cats’ cheer squad, have seen each other for months.

Many fans are tired of the wait, lamenting night grand finals on social media.

Richmond’s London Tavern pub is one of the classic Tigers pubs and in a normal year there are lines outside from the crack of dawn.

It’s obviously more subdued this year but some of the faithful have gathered in small, socially-distant groups outside, where you get a view of the MCG’s fabled lights.

And it’s Kevin the Pug’s first grand final. The young canine is having a golden year – not only have his owners been stuck at home with him for most of it, his Tigers have reached a grand final in his first AFL season.

Here he is with his proud owner and Tigers nut Riley McLellan, who’s wearing his customised Dustin Martin T-Shirt.

Kevin the Pug.

Kevin the Pug.

The Cats get some VIP treatment in very miserable conditions

A quiet MCG in Melbourne on AFL Grand Final Day 2020 with a few scattered souls enjoying a bit of sunshine and having a kick of the footy today!

The MCG on the day the grand final is played at the Gabba because of COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.

The MCG on the day the grand final is played at the Gabba because of COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.Credit:Joe Armao

The MCG on the day the grand final is played at the Gabba because of COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.

The MCG on the day the grand final is played at the Gabba because of COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.Credit:Joe Armao

Earlier today, the prime minister Scott Morrison addressed the AFL and praised the way the league handled so many COVID-related obstacles ahead of tonight’s grand final.

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