September 24, 2021

‘Tough titties’: Part-time Storm fans want the NRL to move their preliminary final so they can watch the AFL – it ain’t going to happen

3 min read

BY CURTIS WOODWARD

@woodward_curtis

The mighty Melburnians pride themselves on being the sporting capital of Australia. They are highly educated on all sports, so they say. Their reaction to the National Rugby League’s announcement of dates and times of the preliminary finals makes you think again.

Social media in Melbourne went into overdrive on Sunday because the NRL confirmed the Storm would play their grand final qualifier at 7.50pm on Saturday 25th of September.

The NRL released their preliminary final dates many moons ago.

Long before the AFL announced that their grand final would be played in Perth.

But we have a problem – from south of the border, anyway.

How dare the NRL book the Storm to clash with the AFL grand final?

What about all those part-time viewers that want to watch the Storm AND the AFL?

The issue is, the AFL didn’t think of the NRL when they scheduled their decider.

Now many in Victoria want rugby league to move their showpiece penultimate weekend?

Their argument is that all those AFL fans would love to watch the Storm too. Tough titties. These are Australia’s top two sporting codes. As if the NRL are going to shift their preliminary finals.

Those bagging Andrew Abdo, Peter V’landys and the NRL need to start asking why the AFL put their grand final on a Saturday night in prime time when they knew they were going to get smashed in New South Wales and Queensland.

But the kicker.

The major point everyone is forgetting is that the NRL made the call on player welfare.

Melbourne’s preliminary final opponents – Parramatta or Penrith – play this coming Saturday.

It would be unfair on either the Eels or Panthers to play on a shorter turnaround on a Friday.

That’s been the way in rugby league for years.

The minor premiers don’t necessarily play on the Friday night like some of the uneducated like to think.

Fact is, if you’re a real Storm fan and your AFL side isn’t in the grand final, shouldn’t you be watching the Storm?

This is entirely on the heads of AFL administrators.

While the NRL’s preliminary final ratings will take a hit on the Saturday night in Victoria, the AFL have taken a huge chunk of their grand final audience out. Those in NSW or QLD that only watch one aussie rules match a year won’t be watching in 2021 because the NRL is on.

That’s on the AFL.

Night time finals footy has always been rugby league’s jig.

Aussie rules have only just come to the party.

Don’t they love their daytime grand finals?

If they started at 2pm in Perth, that’s a 4pm start in Melbourne.

Well before the Melbourne Storm’s blockbuster against the Panthers or Eels.

woodward_curtis

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