Just after Brisbane's Semi-final loss to GWS, Hawthorn and GWS star Luke Hodge announced his retirement. He refused to be "chaired" off by teammates. Coach Chris Fagan confined the announcement at the post-game press conference, saying, "Hodgey's finished ... I wanted him to come (to the media conference), but that's not his way. He just wants to walk away quietly. He's hung them up, the old fella ... ". Fagan added that Hodge would remain with the club in an off-field role which is yet to be determined. Fagan added that he had an inkling of Hodge's retirement but never asked directly with the brief conversation going "...I said 'is that it?' and he said 'yep, that's it', so that's it.”
This was supposed to be a one sided affair. The in-form Collingwood taking on the injury hit and sixth seeded Greater Western Sydney Giants with the result surely leading to a Richmond vs Collingwood Grand Final, to the delight of the AFL and Melburnians. The only problem with this narrative was that the Giants didn’t read the script.
In one of the biggest surprises in recent Preliminary Final history, GWS stunned the locals by first taking a big lead, then by defending grimly when a late Collingwood surge looked like taking the Magpies back to the Grand Final in consecutive seasons. The end result shows the Giants winning by just 4 points, but so much happened throughout this game. A frantic last quarter, that a crowd of mostly 70,000 strong Collingwood fans were left as empty shells in a roller coaster of a final.
At half time in Friday night’s Preliminary Final against Geelong, Richmond looked to be in trouble. Just a year after failing badly in the same game against Collingwood despite being hot favorites, the Tigers trailed by 21 points and looked a shadow of the team that was riding a 10 game winning streak. Adding further doubt to any potential comeback was a shoulder injury to 2017 Premiership hero Jack Graham, plus collision injuries to Captain Trent Cotchin and star midfielder Dustin Martin that had slowed both players in the first half.
Geelong on the other hand was magnificent. The Cats were making a mockery of their label as underdogs, taking the game on and converting up forward despite missing key spearhead in Tom Hawkins through suspension. The half time scoreline seemed unlikely after the Tigers rallied in the back end of the first quarter.
(This post will be updated with any changes right up to match time and network schedules often change.)(9/23/19: TSN pre-game coverage start time moved back to 9:00 PM. All coverage and times are now confirmed.)
Fox Soccer Plus (FSP) in the USA and TSN2 in Canada will carry the 2019 Grand Final between Richmond and Greater Western Sydney LIVE on Friday night / Saturday morning, September 27th / 28th. US coverage on FSP will begin at approximately 12:24 AM EDT Saturday. Coverage will continue until approximately 3:30 AM EDT Saturday concluding after the match. No other pre- or post-match coverage will be provided on Fox. FSP will air multiple repeats of the game. Set your DVR accordingly and add extra recording time before as the match starts earlier than the half-hour and the feed may start unexpectedly (most guides show the start time as 12:30 AM so you'll miss at least 6 minutes if you don't) and after so you don't miss anything if the match is extended due to a tie at the end of the 4th quarter!
Canadian coverage on TSN2 will begin with the pregame at 9:00 PM EDT Friday and the game coverage at 12:24 AM EDT Saturday and run to 3:30 AM EDT Saturday.
If you have no access to either of the preceding options, the game will be live via the internet on WatchAFL (payment required, US$23 for individuals) and you can sign up at this link. WatchAFL coverage will begin at 12:24 AM EDT however, they will have pre-match coverage beginning at 7:00 PM EDT and post-match coverage for as long as the Fox Footy in Australia continues. Pre- and post-match are relayed on the Fox Footy feed area of the service. Free coverage by internet radio is also available; check our AFL Radio page.
Fans should check our TV Schedule page for full TV listings including any repeats and our TV Info page for more information on FSP, WatchAFL, and TSN2. Party venues should contact us for commercial subscription discounts. For those looking for parties, see our listings on our Grand Final Party page. (Note: the only live coverage in North America is via these outlets and they are available nationally via cable and satellite services -- see our TV Info page. Asking us if there are others will not get you a different answer because there isn't one.)