While Scott Pendlebury played his 350th game for Collingwood in a nail-biter in Adelaide, and North delighted everyone by shattering the spirits of Richmond fans, the Brisbane Lions finally played their first premiership game in the Australian Capital Territory (against GWS), having previously played a NAB Cup game against the Western Bulldogs at Manuka Oval in 2010.
As expected, the Lions won by a comfortable 40 points against the Giants, and in doing so, they joined the small group of clubs (Now up to 6) who have won a VFL/AFL Premiership game in all 8 major states & territory of Australia (Because Jervis Bay can piss off), with the year of their maiden victory in brackets:
Footscray/Western Bulldogs: VIC (1925), QLD (1987) NSW (1990), SA (1992), WA (1995) ACT (2004), NT (2005), TAS (2008)
Port Adelaide: SA (1997), VIC (1997), WA (1998), NSW (1999), QLD (1999), TAS (2002), NT (2004), ACT (2014)
West Coast: WA (1987), VIC (1987), QLD (1987), NSW (1990), SA (1991), ACT (1995), TAS (2004), NT (2015)
Fremantle: VIC (1995), WA (1995), NSW (1995), SA (2000) TAS (2006), QLD (2009), NT (2014), ACT (2019)
Melbourne: VIC (1897), NSW (1904), QLD (1989), WA (1989), SA (1992), ACT (2005), NT (2010), TAS (2021)
Brisbane Lions: QLD (1997), VIC (1997), NSW (1999), WA (1999), SA (1999), TAS (2009), NT (2013), ACT (2022)
Some notes from me:
– Melbourne are the only foundation VFL club on the list
– None of the clubs on the list won in every state & territory on their first attempt
– West Coast defeated Fitzroy in the inaugural AFL game in the ACT in Round 9 1995, although it wasn’t at Manuka, it was at Bruce Stadium, the current home of the Canberra Raiders & ACT Brumbies – The ground was reconfigured for rectangle sports, and all subsequent Canberra games have been at Manuka Oval.
– Port Adelaide won the inaugural AFL game in the Northern Territory against the Western Bulldogs in Round 19 of 2004, and coincidentally, both clubs were the first two to win in every state & territory.
– Brisbane and Port Adelaide are the only AFL clubs to win in every major state & territory & at least one game overseas, as the Lions defeated St Kilda in Wellington on ANZAC Day 2014, and Port Adelaide won all 3 games in Shanghai between 2017-19.
The last remaining potential entrant to the list in 2022 are the Gold Coast Suns, who play Hawthorn in Launceston in Round 21, and they only have to record a win in Tasmania to complete the box set, having lost all 6 previous visits to Tassie.
A few other clubs who have one more State/Territory to tick off in the coming years:
Northern Territory: Geelong (Never played in NT), GWS (Never played in NT), Hawthorn, North Melbourne, St Kilda, Sydney (Never played in NT)
And the clubs who need at least two more:
Carlton: ACT & Tasmania (Never played in ACT, lost in all visits to Tasmania)
Collingwood: Northern Territory & Tasmania (Never played in either of them)
Essendon: ACT & Northern Territory (Never played in ACT, lost in only visit to NT)
Richmond: ACT & Tasmania (Lost in all previous visits to both)
So it’s only taken us 125 years to get to 6 clubs who have won in all 8 major states & territories….
On current pace, we’ll reach the milestone of every club completing the set by 2272, by which time we’ll be figuring out which clubs have won on every planet of the solar system.