Sport Victoria 'talking to the NRL' about grand final

07:48  02 august  2021
07:48  02 august  2021 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

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The home side had lost to the Storm in last year's grand final . With the Storm on the attack after the siren and the ball going from side-to-side, the reigning premiers looked certain to score when Justin Olam went over the line. Edwards had been the hosts' best in the first half, before his injury left Tyrone May filling in and the Panthers facing a shortage in their backline. Meanwhile, the NRL 's most talked about half Matt Burton did not disappoint deputising for Cleary. There was nothing spectacular from Burton but there was plenty of signs of why Canterbury are so desperate to get their hands on

a stadium full of people: MCG hosting State of Origin © Getty MCG hosting State of Origin

Victorian Sports Minister Martin Pakula has confirmed his state is "happy to have a conversation" with the NRL over whether Melbourne would be a suitable venue to host the grand final.

With New South Wales' current lockdown extended until at least August 28, which follows another day of more than 200 confirmed COVID-19 cases, Sydney's hopes of hosting the grand final remain a long shot.

The same scenario also applies to Brisbane, with south-east Queensland currently under a snap lockdown. The state today recorded 13 local COVID-19 cases.

As a result, Melbourne's iconic MCG has emerged as a potential host venue, and it now has the full support of the Victorian government which today confirmed it's happy to sit down with the NRL and discuss it.

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NRL Grand Final . Reddit-Stream comments. To the Panthers fans, commiserations. What a tremendous season only to fall short in the grand final . Smith talking about Victoria as if he can't wait to move back to QLD when he retires.

The 2020 NRL Grand Final was the conclusive and premiership-deciding game of the 2020 National Rugby League season held at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on October 25.

"I haven't had discussions [with the NRL], I've exchanged text messages with Peter V'landys," Pakula said.

"I know the team at Visit Victoria are talking to the NRL.

"Peter I think indicated yesterday that they're probably looking at NSW or Queensland as their next priority, but they are happy to have a conversation with us.

"I think from our perspective, we would indicate to the NRL that we would be available for a conversation, but we're not getting into a bidding war with the Queensland government over this.

"If the NRL comes to us and says look we don't think Sydney is an option and Brisbane isn't an option, and they want to talk to us about the MCG or Marvel Stadium, then we're ready to have that conversation."

Another big supporter of the NRL grand final moving to Melbourne is Storm coach Craig Bellamy, who said the move down south would do wonders for the code.

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The NRL Grand Final , which determines the Australian rugby league football season's premiers, is one of Australia's major sporting events and one of the largest attended club championship events in the world.

Injuries cruel the Canberra Raiders' chances of NRL glory, and the suspension dished out to Josh Reynolds could open the door for a wily old veteran to return for the Tigers, writes Luke Lewis. This was a do-or-die season for them — a really good period for them to get to another grand final , but these injuries are going to hurt them. The players, who were so unlucky in the grand final last year, have put in so much hard work this year, and it is very frustrating for them to have these injuries happen.

Craig Bellamy looking at the camera: Storm coach Craig Bellamy watches over a training session. © Getty Storm coach Craig Bellamy watches over a training session.

"That would be great for the code in Melbourne if we had the grand final there whether we are in it or not," Bellamy said.

"Being the Melbourne Storm coach it is a pretty exciting announcement it might happen.

"Our biggest role is to try and get there. If that happens and it is played in Melbourne, that would be great.

"But even if we didn't make it, it would be a real shot in the arm for Melbourne."

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NRL investigates moving grand final to New Zealand .
A near capacity crowd at Eden Park for the Bledisloe Cup match on Saturday night has given rugby league powerbroker "food for thought".The NRL will consider moving the grand final to New Zealand after watching the Wallabies play the All Blacks in front of a huge crowd at Eden Park in Auckland.

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