BRISBANE, Australia: The top two teams in the regular season have carried their form through to the first round of the Australian Football League playoffs.
First-place Port Adelaide and second-place Brisbane both won their qualifying finals in the opening round and advanced directly to the semifinals in two weeks, securing a second-round bye.
Port Adelaide attacker Steven Motlop kicked three goals in a 9.4 (58) to 5.12 (42) win over Geelong at Adelaide Oval.
Fourth-place Geelong will play in the next weeks second round against the winner of Saturday nights elimination final between West Coast and Collingwood.
Under the leagues second-chance playoff format, two of the top four teams which lose in the first round play the winners of the teams placed fifth to eighth in the second round.
Brisbane beat defending champion Richmond 10.9 (69) to 8.6 (54). The Tigers will next play the winner of Saturdays elimination final between the Western Bulldogs and St. Kilda in the second round.
The Lions turned the match late in the second quarter when goals by Cam Rayner, Charlie Cameron and Lachie Neale in quick succession gave them a 13-point lead over the Tigers at halftime.
The win was the clubs first in the playoffs since 2009 and ended a 15-match winning streak by the Tigers over Brisbane.
The grand final will be played on Oct. 25 at the Gabba in Brisbane instead of the 100,000-seat Melbourne Cricket Ground, where nearly all of the leagues championship matches have been played since 1897.
Due to coronavirus restrictions and a second spike of COVID-19 deaths and infections in Melbourne and the rest of Victoria state, the final was moved to Queensland because of the low rate of coronavirus infections in that state.
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