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NRL blasted for not moving Panthers V Eels final to Accor Stadium

04 Sep 22, 8:03AM 1 Comments

Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk

Photo by Getty Images

The Parramatta Eels gutsy win over the Melbourne Storm last Thursday cemented a top-four finish for Brad Arthur’s side for the second time since 2005.

While the Eels can mathematically finish third it is safe to say that they won’t, as for that to happen the North Queensland Cowboys would have to lose to an under-strength Penrith Panthers side by 123 points.

So this means that the Eels will travel to Penrith to take on their local rivals in the first round of the finals in what is sure to be a sell-out.

However, not everyone is happy about the game being hosted at BlueBet Stadium as Brent Read has written an article for The Daily Telegraph alongside Phil “Buzz” Rothfield blasting the NRL for not moving this blockbuster clash to Accor Stadium.

“Rugby league is about to lock out thousands of fans to play a finals game in an archaic stadium that is on the verge of being ripped down,” said Read.

“At least 20,000 people will be turned away.

“Maybe more, it gets better.

“Penrith supporters will no doubt get the lion’s share of tickets and Parramatta fans will have to scrounge around for what is left.

“Rugby league should hang its head in shame.

“The desire to appease a minority of fans by playing finals at suburban grounds will come at a cost – to the thousands of fans the game seeks to satiate.”

Before 2019 Read’s suggestion of having this game take place at Accor Stadium would have been the case but since then the NRL has allowed the fixtures for the first week of the finals to take place at the higher-seeded team’s home venue no matter where that may be.

From the second week of the finals onwards though home finals are still moved accordingly to accommodate bigger attendances.

During this time the Panthers have hosted a final in Penrith once when they beat the Sydney Roosters in an all-time classic at BlueBet Stadium in the first week of the 2020 NRL finals series in front of a severely reduced crowd due to restrictions caused by the COVID pandemic.

discussion on “NRL blasted for not moving Panthers V Eels final to Accor Stadium”

One response to “NRL blasted for not moving Panthers V Eels final to Accor Stadium”

  1. Roz Zaffino says:

    Firstly I would note that to the best of my knowledge, as reported by the NRL, both Panthers and Eels members will have the opportunity to buy Finals tickets from 10am on Monday. So no disadvantage there. It is not Penrith Panthers fans fault that our ground hasn’t been upgraded yet. One of the benefits of being Minor Premiers is a home ground final. If that rule were to change at the behest of some “journalists” just before the first finals it would be so ludicrous and unfair to the team who worked hard all season to come first. If the rule were to be discussed by the NRL and changed, in the off season, so be it. At least the fans would know where they stood and not be messed about. I can’t help being curious and wondering if the story writers have any sort of hidden agenda. What’s in it for them to be so adamant right near the end off the competition? I’d be very interested to read opinions from other footy fans.

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