AFLW’s ‘embarrassing’ grand final blunder

AFLW: Brisbane’s marquee signing Tayla Harris has put her hand up for mark of the year.

Matthews is fuming the Lions won’t play at the Gabba.

BRISBANE Lions director and AFL legend Leigh Matthews has slammed a decision for the AFLW club to lose hosting rights for this year’s grand final, calling it an “embarrassing stuff-up”.

The inaugural AFLW decider — between the unbeaten Queenslanders and Adelaide — is set to be played at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast as a curtain raiser to the AFL round one Q-Clash on Saturday.

The AFL’s preferred venue, the Gabba, was reportedly ruled out of contention when the pitch failed an inspection on Monday morning.

The surface at the Test cricket venue is seen as unsafe to host the AFLW, three weeks after it was used for an Adele concert.

Matthews savaged the decision.

Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium hosted the record-breaking British songstress for shows on the weekend just past and will host AFL matches from Saturday — six days later.

Last week Matthews accused Gabba ground staff of putting the summer tenants ahead of AFL needs at the Brisbane venue.

In shambolic scenes just days from the showpiece match, Brisbane and Adelaide were at odds on where the match would be played before the Gabba was ruled out on Monday afternoon. Brisbane insisted it was still “in negotiations” over the venue as Adelaide confirmed reports Metricon Stadium would host the match.

The Lions have played their women’s home games at the South Pine Sports Complex in Brendale, which has a capacity of just 3000 and is unsuitable for the grand final.

The league and the Lions were adamant they wanted the first AFLW decider played at the Gabba.

A statement from Queensland Sports Minister Mick de Brenni earlier on Monday foreshadowed it would not be possible.

“We have done everything possible to encourage the turf, but the speed at which the turf grows is outside of our control,” De Brenni said.