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Preliminary NRL finals at SFS

15/09/2008 06:56:47 PM Comments (0)

Both matches in week three of the NRL finals will be played at the Sydney Football Stadium, the NRL said.

Cronulla will play either Brisbane or Melbourne in the first preliminary final on Friday, September 26, while the night after, Manly will meet the New Zealand Warriors or Sydney Roosters.

Week three finals are played in the "home region" of the two highest-ranked teams, in this case the Sea Eagles and Sharks, with the designated venues for NSW-based clubs the SFS and ANZ Stadium.

The league has used the 80,000-capacity ANZ Stadium in week three of previous years but the beachside Manly and Cronulla clubs are both in the lower half of the NRL's average attendances at home games in 2008.

Manly drew an average 13,694 to their regular-season games this season, the ninth-highest in the league, and the Sharks 12,965, leaving them two rungs further down.

The Sydney Football Stadium's capacity is 44,000.

"The system is one that allows us to look for the best fit when considering the teams involved and the venue capacity," NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley said in a statement.

"The fact that we can lock the matches in a fortnight in advance will help fans in planning their countdown to the grand final at ANZ Stadium on October 5."

Tickets for the preliminary finals go on sale next Monday for season ticket holders and Tuesday for the general public.

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