Does Queensland deserve to host a grand final?
As the NRL reshuffles the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a key idea being floated is a three-game grand final series.
And in a further departure from tradition, there's talk two of those matches could be played in Queensland. CHRIS HONNERY and DEAN RITCHIE argue this divisive issue - VOTE IN THE POLL BELOW.
FOR: IT'S QUEENSLAND'S TURN FOR RUGBY LEAGUE SHOWPIECE
It should never have taken a global pandemic to get Queensland to host an NRL grand final but here we are.
The Sydney-centric rugby league hierarchy has finally conceded that a grand final north of the border could be the best thing for the game, while also giving Maroon-blooded supporters what they have been crying out for, for years. And not just one big dance but possibly two as part of a three-game series.
NSW has hosted the biggest game of the rugby league calendar for years and now it has to be Queensland's turn. We've got the shiny new Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville, which would undoubtedly have north Queenslanders hanging from the rafters just to catch a glimpse of an NRL decider.
Meanwhile, down in the capital lies the world's greatest rugby league ground - Suncorp Stadium.
The 52,500-seat fortress and its arterial Caxton St thoroughfare would be lined with rugby league supporters of every kind when it becomes the epicentre of the rugby league world.
There should be no hesitation in hosting the best-of-three grand-final series here in Queensland. There is the potential to generate up to $50 million for a cash-strapped code that is struggling to make ends meet amid the crippling coronavirus pandemic.
Under the proposal, the SCG would host the first match and Suncorp would be the scene of the second.
Which means Sydneysiders would be kept happy while at the same time Queenslanders would be given their long-awaited grand final match.
It's a win-win situation.
- Chris Honnery
AGAINST: QUEENSLAND HAS NO RIGHT TO ONE GF, LET ALONE TWO
Two grand finals for the two heads.
Two chances … Buckley's and none.
The sheer arrogance of Queensland is as bewildering as it is inexplicable.
Despite falling away badly as a rugby league state, Queensland actually has the audacity to demand hosting two deciders - one in Brisbane, the other in Townsville - in a proposed three-match grand final series.
Queensland, get it through your sun-affected brains, Sydney is the home of rugby league and has been for 112 years. You have no right to one grand final, let alone two.
Last year in the NRL, Queensland sides won 24 of 72 games. That's a miserable 33 per cent success rate. And we shouldn't forget Queensland crashed to a second successive State of Origin series defeat.
I was actually a fan of the proposed Quexit - a move that would have resulted in Queensland being cut loose from the rest of Australia.
Queensland tourism minister Kate Jones said: "Queensland deserves these matches. Anything short of two grand finals at Suncorp and in Townsville will be a slap in the face to Queensland footy fans. We've been strung along too long."
Well Ms Jones, we've been strung along too by this parochial nonsense, claiming Queensland is superior to all other states.
I'm not a fan of three grand finals but I'm even less of a fan of Queensland trying to pinch our tradition, history and folklore.
Ms Jones said: "A grand final in Queensland would be a ray of sunshine."
Well Queensland, you can stick that idea where the sun don't shine.
- Dean Ritchie
Originally published as Does Queensland deserve to host a grand final?