YOU could be excused for thinking things were a little backward on the weekend.
A NSW team won the AFL grand final and a Victorian side claimed the NRL premiership.
The wins were significant because, traditionally, NSW and Queensland have been rugby league strongholds while Victoria has been all about Aussie rules.
The stereotypes were blown out of the water on the weekend when the Sydney Swans won the AFL flag and the Melbourne Storm lifted the NRL trophy.
Does that mean each sport could attract more support after premiership trophies left their traditional heartlands?
AFL NSW/ACT regional co-ordinator Peter Yandle can only see positives in the Swan’s win over Hawthorn.
“First, it’s a great way to finish off one of the most important years in AFL,” Yandle said.
“We had the Greater Western Sydney Giants come in as the 18th sides, then the Sydney Swans, 30 years almost to the day since they moved to Sydney [from North Melbourne], take out the premiership.
“In terms of AFL, it creates excitement, it’s exposure and it’s the icing on the cake for all the work people have put into developing the sport.”
Yandle is confident the Swans’ victory will encourage more children to take up Aussie rules.
“Everyone wants to be involved with a winning team. It creates that spark,” he said.
“We’re in a good situation now in NSW because kids can play for their team in NSW.”
Australian Rugby League development officer Mick Armstrong doesn’t think the premiership victories will change things.
“I think both grand finals were great spectacles but I don’t think they’ll have an impact for either code,” Armstrong said.
“We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing and try to attract more kids to the game.”
Yandle said those in Aussie rules needed to use the Swans’ win and the addition of the Giants to encourage children to take up the sport.
“We’ll continue to promote the game as an inclusive game, especially at grassroots level. Boys and girls can play,” Yandle said.
“There are lost of different ways people can get involved. They can play socially or they can be more serious and go through the academy.”
The challenge for both codes is how they capitalise on the grand finals as children gear up for cricket season