AFL finals 2023: Singer accused of butchering national anthem ahead of Lions vs Port Adelaide in Brisbane.

Brisbane and Port Adelaide are riding long AFL premiership droughts and this is our live coverage of their huge qualifying final at the Gabba.

The Lions won the last of three consecutive flags back in 2003.

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They lost a shot at a fourth straight title against Port Adelaide the following year, the South Australian side’s only AFL premiership to date.

With the winner on Saturday night going straight through to a home preliminary final, there is a huge amount on the line.

We’ll have all the big talking points for you here.

8.20pm AEST – Feisty clash unfolding at the Gabba

As expected, Brisbane got off to a strong start as it aimed to keep an unbeaten Gabba record in 2023 intact.

The Lions had the first three goals on the board in quick succession as the home fans roared in delight.

Port came into the match with an identical 17-6 win-loss record to the Queenslanders, however, and took the fight right up to Brisbane.

That included a stoush that broke out between Port’s Jason Horne-Francis and Brisbane star Charlie Cameron.

The Lions seemed to have the answers over the first half, but the Power were comfortably keeping in touch.

7.20pm AEST – The night doesn’t start well

With the teams in place and final formalities playing out, all that was left was a quick rendition of Advance Australia Fair and then the Sherrin could be bounced.

Sadly, it didn’t prove to be quite so straightforward.

Liliya Butonova, who is listed as a Brisbane-based soul singer on an entertainment website, may have got a little stage fright.

Butonova started well enough, albeit a little off-key, before an issue arose towards the end.

Clearly thinking the anthem ended on the words “Advance Australia Fair” prior to the chorus, she held the word “fair” and then stopped singing.

Unfortunately, the chorus line “in joyful strains then let us sing, Advance Australia Fair” was still to come.

To her credit, Butonova realised her mistake and jumped back in after missing “in joyful”.

It was a moment that didn’t get missed on social media.

6.45pm AEST – No changes for either team

Following the dramas for the earlier final between St Kilda and GWS, won by the Giants, the initial stages of the evening match were straightforward.

The Saints (Tim Membrey) and Giants (Stephen Coniglio) had an important player ruled out on game day.

No such issues for the Lions or Power, however, who lined up as selected.

The Lions were unbeaten all season long at home and firm favourites to knock off the Power and earn a week off and home preliminary final.

The vanquished team will host the Giants next week.

Read related topics:AdelaideBrisbane

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