Geelong coach Chris Scott admits he was “very surprised” the AFL granted Richmond their wish of a home final at Metricon Stadium.
The Tigers pushed to play Friday night’s semi-final on the Gold Coast, instead of at the Gabba – which will host this year’s grand final and has a greater capacity.
Clubs are able to preference a finals venue if they are a higher-ranked team but the ultimate decision rests with the AFL and league hierarchy usually pick the larger stadium.
The AFL has previously knocked back Geelong’s requests to host home finals at their GMHBA Stadium fortress due the MCG’s ability to accommodate more people.
The Cats last played a final in Geelong in 2013, losing to Fremantle, but have been denied one at home since.
Scott wouldn’t be drawn into if the AFL’s green light for Richmond’s home finals sets a precedence, but was still puzzled by the decision.
“Very surprised (by it),” he told reporters.
“It’s a loaded question, that one.
“I think that hypothetical has been raised before; if the attendance is the driving force behind the choice of finals venues, then it wouldn’t matter, so I was surprised.”
But the Cats have more pertinent issues on their mind as they attempt to avoid a straight-sets finals exit.
Geelong enters Saturday night’s semi-final against Collingwood determined to improve their dreadful finals record since 2011, which stands at 4-12.
The Cats have dropped Tom Atkins for Sam Simpson, who hasn’t played since round 12.
The Magpies will go in with an unchanged line-up after their thrilling one-point elimination final upset of West Coast, sticking with big man Darcy Cameron to support ace ruckman Brodie Grundy.