NRL finals system unfair: Hasler - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL finals system unfair: Hasler

By Joe Barton 23/08/2011 04:45:33 PM Comments (0)

Manly coach Des Hasler says denying the Sea Eagles the chance to play week one of the NRL finals at Brookvale Oval is unfair.

The Sea Eagles are unbeaten at Brookvale in 2011, with victory over Melbourne on Friday night ensuring they would be the only team to have a clean slate at home this season.

But despite fighting their way to second-place on the ladder, Hasler and the Sea Eagles are concerned their efforts will not be rewarded - with the NRL confirming semi-finals will be hosted by the home city, rather than the home ground.

As a result, Manly will be forced to play their "home" final at ANZ Stadium or the Sydney Football Stadium, potentially against a Sydney rival such as St George Illawarra, Wests Tigers or South Sydney.

"That's something that's out of our hands really. The call was made by the governing body in Sydney," Hasler told reporters on Tuesday.

"On the surface, it probably looks unfair that the sides out of Sydney don't get home finals but you've got to argue that some of their venues are pretty good, but we just have to go (with the decision) that's been made.

"It would have been nice to have a final at Brookvale but that's their call."

Manly co-captain Jamie Lyon admitted the playing group was disappointed at not being able to reward fans with a home final but said a full house against the Storm would be a perfect way to farewell Brookvale for 2011.

"We always love to play at Brookie and it's a bit unfortunate (where the home final will be played is) not in our hands and we can't do anything about it," Lyon explained.

"There's no point worrying about it but, hopefully, it's going to be a massive crowd (on Friday) and I know the fans will come out and really get behind us.

"It's always big, we always love playing in front of the Brookie crowd and I think they love coming to watch us play Melbourne as well.

"They really get up for it and so do we, so we're expecting a big one."

Workaholic backrower Glenn Stewart urged his teammates to maintain Manly's impeccable record at Brookvale when they tackle ladder-leaders Melbourne.

"Especially being the last game at Brookie (for the season), it would be nice to go out with a win," Stewart said.

"For some reason, the weather hasn't been kind to us for Brookvale games, but it would be nice to go out with a win and to be undefeated at Brookvale (for the season) would be a nice achievement."

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