AFL Grand Final 2021: Rivalry between Melbourne Demons and Western Bulldogs

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There is reportedly a “rivalry full of nastiness” developing between two AFL clubs, the reason for which is unbelievably petty.

There is reportedly a “rivalry full of nastiness” developing between AFL premiers the Melbourne Demons and 2021 runners-up the Western Bulldogs, the reason for which is unbelievably petty.

Melbourne broke a 57-year premiership drought last month, defeating the Bulldogs 21.14 (140) to 10.6 (66) in the AFL Grand Final at Perth’s Optus Stadium.

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Two weeks earlier, the Bulldogs had been filmed celebrating their preliminary final victory over Port Adelaide by singing “Freed From Desire” in their changerooms.

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said he was “disappointed” the footage went viral.

According to AFL reporter Sam McClure, Melbourne players were heard singing the same anthem on the Optus Stadium turf hours after winning the premiership.

“I don’t think there’s too much love lost between (these) two clubs, both the administrators and players,” McClure told SEN’s Sportsday.

“This is a rivalry full of nastiness and there’s a few things that stem from it. There are senior players from both sides that don’t particularly get along.

“The fact that Melbourne sang the same Bulldogs song they sang in the rooms that leaked on social media, it got back to the Dogs and it didn’t go down too well.

“A couple of hours after the game, everyone had left and one of the great Grand Final moments is when the team walks back onto the ground with the cup, they have a few beers and sing the song a couple of times.

“The only people left in the ground were media and suddenly you hear ‘Freed from Desire’ and realise that was the song the Bulldogs were singing a couple of weeks ago, that got back to the Dogs and I don’t think they were happy about it.

“For me, one team lost and one team won and we move on and get over it, but I think this will be a rivalry (moving forward) that isn’t necessarily like Hawthorn and Geelong with the Kennett curse, but it’ll be in the same suburb.”

According to Channel 7 reporter Tom Browne, Melbourne has launched a serious bid for a grand final replay in Round 1 of the 2022 season at the MCG, which hasn’t happened since 2009.

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