“The last thing now is whether we can fly in the day of the game or stay for a couple of days beforehand. That decision will be made soon as well.

“We played in Perth last year, which was an awesome ground – it was the biggest crowd they had at Optus Stadium – and while it will not be the case here, to play on the iconic Adelaide Oval will be fantastic. Apart from Melbourne and the Roosters, I’m not sure too many other players have played there.

Brad Fittler’s Blues are chasing a third straight series win.Credit:Getty

“It’s one of those grounds where it feels like you’re walking around a museum.”

Fittler and Queensland counterpart Kevin Walters flew to Adelaide in February to spruik ticket sales for the game, well before COVID-19 shut down rugby league and the country.

There was talk as late as the weekend that Adelaide officials were banking on about 25,000 fans. Had the pandemic worsened- and border security tightened – league officials briefly entertained netural venues like Canberra.

Meanwhile, Fittler said he would have no hesitation selecting skipper Boyd Cordner given the tough emotional and physical year he has already endured. Cordner has suffered two concussions and was cleared of a third on the weekend.

Fittler said it was comforting the inspirational back-rower was in top hands at the Roosters.


“I speak with Boyd, I speak to ‘Robbo’ [coach Trent Robinson] fairly regularly, there is also some staff at the Roosters who are also on the staff at NSW … the reason I’m not concerned about Boyd is because he’s at a club that will look after him,” Fittler said.

“The way Boyd approached the last head knock, I’m confident he wouldn’t do it unless he felt 100 per cent.”

Fittler, who is expected to pick an extended squad of 27 players, said he was keen to see Tom Trbojevic play this weekend for Manly, which will be his first game since round six when he tore his hamstring.

Penrith lead the competition but look like having just Nathan Cleary in the NSW side. Coach Ivan Cleary was happy to make a case for teammates Liam Martin, Isaah Yeo and Api Koroisau.

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Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.


By admin