Statement by Cronulla Sharks
The Sharks v Cowboys match, scheduled for the Sunshine Coast on Saturday, has been relocated to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium due to the COVID situation in South-east Queensland.
Along with the Titans v Raiders, which will now be the second match of a double-header at Netstrata, Saturday’s NRL Telstra Premiership Matches scheduled to be played in southeast Queensland have been moved to Sydney on a risk-based approach to ensuring continuity in the competition.
The Titans will relocate to Sydney this afternoon and remain in Sydney until the NRL’s health experts are comfortable the risk of infection on the Gold Coast has subsided, while the Sharks opponents in the Cowboys will remain based in Townsville.
The Sharks will distribute all membership, corporate hospitality and ticketing information later today.
Sharks CEO Dino Mezzatesta was disappointed with the confirmation of the relocation but understanding of the NRL’s stance.
“It is extremely disappointing that for the second year in a row there has been a forced to cancelation of our Sunshine Coast game. We were very much looking forward to giving our members a different experience in Queensland, while also showcasing the Sharks to a regional audience,” Mezzatesta said.
“But that being said, we understand and support the NRL’s decision to relocate games, with the health and safety of our players, staff and fans of paramount importance.”
NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said the relocation ensured there was no risk to Premiership games proceeding this weekend.
“Our priority is ensuring all matches proceed this weekend. While the infection rates in southeast Queensland are positive today, the risk of further outbreaks emerging between now and Saturday exists,’’ he said.
“By confirming the relocation of games today all clubs, players and fans have certainty to plan for the weekend’s fixtures and as a game we eliminate the risk around whether those matches will take place.
“I want to thank all clubs who are making sacrifices for the greater good of our game. These are difficult decisions to make but decisions that ensure our competition continues this weekend without interruption.
“I also want to acknowledge our fans. I know fans on the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast were looking forward to going to these games. We were particularly excited to be taking a game to the Sunshine Coast. However our priority must be ensuring we can complete Round 4 without risk of losing matches,” Abdo said.
The game is now set down to kick off at 5.15pm, with the Titans and Raiders to follow at 7.45pm.