Wally Lewis on NRL GF snub, QLDers “blowing up deluxe”
The King is “very disappointed” by the NRL’s decision to play the Grand Final at the SCG in 2021 instead of taking it to Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
“The decision was made. It was all about money rather than the long term future of the game,” Lewis told Macquarie Sports Radio.
There were hopes that with both ANZ and Allianz Stadium being redeveloped, it would open the door for the big dance to be held north of the Tweed for the first time in the game’s history.
However a deal struck with the NSW Government, that sees the state kick in a reported $15 million, means the season decider will be played at the circular Sydney Cricket Ground in both 2020 and 2021.
There have been suggestions that this decision further demonstrates the Sydney-centric attitude of the National Rugby League.
Lewis agreed with that idea.
“I think everybody’s said that’s the way that it’s been for quite sometime,” Lewis said.
“Boy oh boy, it’s basically just keeping the game where it kicked off [in Sydney]”.
He also shed a light on the mood of Rugby League fans in the Sunshine State.
“[The Queenslanders] were blowing up deluxe as we normally do when we don’t get something our way here in Brisbane,” Lewis said.
“Most people up here in Queensland would’ve loved the opportunity to get just one chance to host a Grand Final.
“To be able to spread the game a little wider would be a golden opportunity.
“Look, we’d just like an opportunity. We’re not asking to have it long term, we’re not asking to have every second one or every third one.”
The former Queensland and Australian captain played plenty of games at the SCG, including Origin clashes and Tests, and he had serious reservations about the experience of playing there.
“We’ve also got to remember what it’s going to be like for the players,” Lewis said.
“I can tell you when you’re out there in the middle of the field it’s not the greatest atmosphere at all.
“You’ve also got to remember the fans.
“I can guarantee that it will be costing them more than the ticket price, they’ll be buying a pair of binoculars. You’re watching the game from a long way away.”
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