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Sunday afternoon footy at Leichhardt Oval snubbed while Broncos get dream draw

Date
The Tigers attract near capacity crowds at Leichhardt Ovalon Sunday afternoons.

The Tigers attract near capacity crowds at Leichhardt Ovalon Sunday afternoons. Photo: Getty Images

The Canberra Raiders and Sunday afternoon football at Leichhardt Oval are the big losers of the 2013 NRL season draw, with Brisbane again the big winners.

Canberra will only feature once on free-to-air TV in the first 20 rounds, while there won't be any Sunday play at Leichhardt.

The Brisbane Broncos will play eight of the first 11 games on Friday nights.

The Brisbane Broncos will play eight of the first 11 games on Friday nights. Photo: Getty Images

No Sunday action at iconic Leichhardt Oval prompted Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah to tweet: "No Sunday afternoon game at Leichhardt. #Speechless".

Over the past five seasons, the Tigers' average crowd for Sunday afternoon football at Leichhardt Oval is 18,937, despite the inner-city venue's capacity limited to just over 20,000.

In 2012, the Tigers will use Leichhardt Oval for three Friday night games (round three v Eels, round 11 v Cowboys and round 19 v Warriors) and one Saturday night game against the premiers Melbourne Storm in round 16.

The average crowd for night games at Leichhardt Oval over the past five seasons drops by more than 5000 to 13,243 while the Tigers attract an average crowd of 14,654 at their other main venue, Campbelltown Stadium.

The Raiders' snubbing comes despite the highly entertaining brand of football they played on their surprise run to the semi-finals this year.

Canberra fans will have to wait until the round 16 clash against South Sydney on June 28 at ANZ Stadium to see their team on Channel Nine.

The Raiders were only seen on free-to-air television twice this year before the final series.

Due to their popularity in Queensland, the Broncos will feature on Friday night football in eight of the first 11 rounds.

Manly have also been awarded a curious draw which will infuriate fans, with the 2011 premiers playing in seven Monday night games on Fox Sports in the 20 rounds scheduled.

Penrith and Newcastle are the only two teams that will not feature in Friday night football over the first 20 rounds of competition.

The 2013 season kicks off with a Thursday night fixture between arch rivals Sydney Roosters and South Sydney on March 7. The first four rounds of the season will feature Thursday night games.

Premiers Melbourne will host Canterbury in the grand final re-match on Thursday, March 21 at AAMI Park.

For the first time the ARLC has released the complete draw for the first 20 rounds of the premiership.

The remaining six rounds will be scheduled at a later date.

AAP and smh.com.au

29 comments so far

  • Back on twitter! Good onya Robbie, say hi to Julia for me.

    Commenter
    Tough Guy
    Location
    HanginAround
    Date and time
    November 23, 2012, 4:09PM
    • Gold.

      Commenter
      enron hubbard
      Location
      the ether
      Date and time
      November 23, 2012, 5:41PM
  • Stuff the NRL and this stupid decision. Sunday arvo at Leichhardt is a massive community event - 3 generations of families walking down Darling street to the ground for a great afternoon. No one wants or in many cases is able to do this as much on cold Friday or Saturday nights. Seriously - another example of the NRL not giving a stuff about the fans at all. Why do we bother??

    Commenter
    JD
    Location
    Balmain
    Date and time
    November 23, 2012, 4:13PM
    • Yep, they are determined not to let kids watch football live aren't they.

      Commenter
      Mick
      Date and time
      November 23, 2012, 4:28PM
    • So the long suffering Wests fans finally get some good games out at Campbelltown. Finally!

      As for Leichhardt, when Balmain can start paying their fair share, then they can get the games when they want them.

      Commenter
      ST
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      November 23, 2012, 4:32PM
    • I agree. Leichhardt Oval is a great place to watch NRL on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Tigers usually go well there, too (not so much this year though). Still, Friday night footy instead means there will be plenty of seats left for the walk-up buyer.

      Commenter
      rudy
      Date and time
      November 23, 2012, 4:41PM
    • It sounds like some people are finally starting to get it. The NRL couldn't give a stuff about real rugby league fans! It's all about the $$$$, people. Just walk away.....

      Commenter
      9edward
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      November 23, 2012, 9:09PM
  • This is an absolute disgrace. Though small, Leichhardt is one of the best venues for Sunday football and to take that away just goes to show that the NRL is more concerned about top $$ than fan satisfaction.

    Commenter
    MCoombes
    Date and time
    November 23, 2012, 4:16PM
    • Well then, I guess I no longer support Rugby League. I have enjoyed going to Leichhardt Oval for a Sunday game in the past, was intending to take my Dad to a couple of the games this year, but it seems the management have about as much care for a historic part of the game's fanbase as they have braincells, or loyalty for that matter.

       

      Commenter
      Gersen
      Location
      Avente, Alphanor Concourse
      Date and time
      November 23, 2012, 4:23PM
      • Woopty doo - welcome to the realities of pro football - you don't always get what you want.

        Besides, if Balmain could pay their bills, and stop bludging off the Magpies (who currently provide all the finance to the joint venture, while getting none of the signage), then maybe they could whinge about it. Since they don't pay a cent, they can get screwed.

        Commenter
        ST
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        November 23, 2012, 4:29PM

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