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Grand Final blues - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Wed, 19 Dec 2007 06:31:00 GMT
Not everybody is happy with the NRL's decision to bring back afternoon grand finals and showcase the end of season decider at the new time of 5pm.

A report in Wednesday's Daily Telegraph has found that the most important man in Rugby League, Eels supremo Denis Fitzgerald, doesn't like the compromise which has been made.

The issue - which has been campaigned on by fans since the first ever night-time Grand Final back in 2001 - finally drew to a close yesterday when the NRL provided what David Gallop termed the "best result all-round."

This means fans won't have to stay up past their bed-time while Channel 9 can still anticipate some very high ratings despite the possibility of losing 300,000 viewers in the earlier kick-off.

Fitzgerald however believes the 5pm grand final doesn't make sense.

"It's amazing, there was only discussion about 3pm or 7pm. It's nearly like being half pregnant".

Earlier this year the greatest man in Rugby League to quote from proclaimed that a return to afternoon grand finals could give fans skin cancer.

This time a new concern has been raised.

"It's still likely to be quite warm and the sun's going to be in the eyes of everyone on the eastern side, 30,000 people.

"Watching it on TV becomes a pain because of where the shadow is."

Ironically for Fitzgerald, the first night-time Grand Final ever held saw the Eels get beaten 30-24 by a team called...the Knights.

Fitzgerald did have some support from Storm CEO Brian Waldron who said the new timeslot was not best "for the growth of the game."

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