Blues great Braith Anasta is blowing up over Queensland’s reported State of Origin coup to have the series opener moved to Townsville.
Reports firmed on the weekend the NRL will be forced to turn to Queensland Country Bank Stadium as a result of Melbourne’s lockdown and ongoing COVID-19 situation.
The venue remains in limbo with the NRL yet to announce the final decision, just days out from Origin I on June 9.
Anasta said Sunday night the decision to move Game 1 to Queensland is a “disgrace” — giving the Maroons home ground advantage for the first two games of 2021.
Game 2 will be held at Suncorp Stadium on June 27 before the series finale is played at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on July 14.
“It’s a joke. It’s a disgrace,” Anasta told Fox League’s Big League Wrap.
Daly Cherry-Evans. . Queensland vs New South Wales during game 3 of the State of Origin series in Brisbane. Pic Peter WallisSource:News Corp Australia
Queensland vs New South Wales during game 3 of the State of Origin series in Brisbane. Pic Peter WallisSource:News Corp Australia
“It’s all about Queensland. It’s a huge disadvantage.
“It should be (neutral territory). You have to go up to Townsville, you have 25,000 crazy Queensland supporters. We’ve been there. When you play against Queensland in Queensland it’s a huge advantage. They thrive off it, so why would you give them that advantage?”
He said the NSWRL has to find a way to force the game to be moved to a neutral venue.
“They need to. Don’t let it happen. It’s a disgrace,” he said.
The Queensland Rugby League has reportedly already booked out The Ville resort in Townsville and planned several functions in the city.
Maroons great Corey Parker said of the venue change: “The home ground advantage is enormous, they will come from absolutely everywhere, it’ll be a packed house, down into Suncorp for the second game”.
Dane gagai. . Queensland vs New South Wales during game 3 of the State of Origin series in Brisbane. Pic Peter WallisSource:News Corp Australia
The Daily Telegraph reported Sunday the NSW Government has made a dramatic late pitch to play State of Origin I in Western Sydney.
A decision from the NRL is expected to be made on Monday with Melbourne, Canberra, Townsville and Parramatta’s Bankwest Stadium the four options.
It comes after NSW coach Brad Fittler announced his team for the series opener, with the Blues going into camp in Coogee, Sydney.
The team features three debutants.
Queensland coach Paul Green will announce his team at 11am (AEST).
NSW official team for State of Origin Game 1
1. James Tedesco (c)
2. Brian To’o
3. Latrell Mitchell
4. Tom Trbojevic
5. Josh Addo-Carr
6. Jarome Luai
7. Nathan Cleary
8. Daniel Saifiti
9. Damien Cook
10. Jake Trbojevic
11. Cameron Murray
12. Tariq Sims
13. Isaah Yeo
14. Jack Wighton
15. Junior Paulo
16. Payne Haas
17. Liam Martin
18. Apisai Koroisau
19. Campbell Graham
Queensland predicted team for State of Origin Game 1
1 Kalyn Ponga
2 Valentine Holmes
3 Dane Gagai
4 Kurt Capewell
5 Xavier Coates
6 Cameron Munster
7 Daly Cherry-Evans (c)
8 Christian Welch
9 Reed Mahoney
10 Jai Arrow
11 David Fifita
12 Felise Kaufusi
13 Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
14 Harry Grant
15 Moeaki Fotuaika
16 Joe Ofahengaue
17 Jaydn Su’A
Source: Read Full Article