Players against decision to have all first-round finals played at neutral venue

It was bound to happen eventually, and now it has. Players who are expressing their anger and concern over the NRL’s decision to move all first-round finals to a neutral venue.

Both Jamie Lyon and Brent Kite, two of Manly’s most experienced players have made their feelings known as they are both clearly against any potential move.

They’ve expressed their disappointment at the move, as they believe that it’s killing off the smaller grounds in the NRL, by not giving fans the chance to experience a better atmosphere at a smaller ground.

The pair also believe that the move will effectively take away the top 4 teams home ground advantage, and disagree with the decision.

“That’s a shame,” Kite said. “It’s taking away that reward for the top teams who finish higher up.”

“You have to give the teams that finish higher an advantage because it’s a top eight. Half the teams still make it. If team one is playing team eight on neutral ground, I don’t know if that’s really fair.”

Lyon is also of the belief that the decision has the potential to hurt some clubs chances of progressing further, as teams like South Sydney and Canterbury already use the venue as their home stadium, giving them an edge of sorts.

“It is sad to see,” Lyon said. “A lot of teams will lose home-ground advantage.”

The move has come after the fiasco of 2009, in which there was public outcry when Dragons fans became locked out of the teams home-ground due to capacity being reached.

“I don’t know if they’ll be able to fill ANZ Stadium in the first week of finals, so that’s disappointing,” he said.

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