Leigh’s Jack Ashworth and Wigan’s Brad Singleton were both sent off after the fight.
As big as the NRL grand final is, the entertainment that usually goes hand in hand with it is mostly awful.
More than likely it will be a parade of low grade entertainers somehow linked to something Channel Nine is showing or selling, or someone that the NRL had to settle for and who hasn’t been relevant for over a decade.
Not this year. Cold Chisel is by far the best entertainment that rugby league have secured in years. As Summer of 69 blares around the MCG to the bemused stares of Gen Y, the NRL should rub their hands for winning one battle over the AFL.
But that doesn’t mean the NRL entertainment is all it can be. Like in any sport, there’s always room for improvement.
Everyone seems to love Semi Radradra, one of the few feel-good stories from 2015, particularly for the Eels. Most can’t get enough of the Fijian flyer. The NRL should always be looking to give the fans and punters what they want. Here’s a few ways to include Semi on the big day, as it seems increasingly likely it will never happen on the playing field if he stays at the Eels.
Here are some alternatives for pre-during-post game entertainment that all feature Semi Radradra.
The Hayne Plane circles above before it out leaps Semi, who descends gracefully into the stadium to land in the in-goal. He intercepts the ball with one hand and unhooks the parachute with the other, and streaks away for a length of the field try. Warren Smith is left soaking in a pool of his own juices, and the ghost of Artie Beetson does laps of the stadium tossing out Four and Twenty Pies to the crowd.
Maybe some more during game entertainment? We hook Semi up into the Spider Cam with a superhero cape draped over his back and he keeps his semi-sonic eye on the game for the viewers at home and provides joy for the fans at the ground as he appears to fly over the game.
What about pre-game entertainment? Before the main game kick off, five of Semi Radradra’s best tries of the 2015 season are recreated through interpretive dance. Semi himself has selected five of the dancing troupes to attempt this Semitacular event.
– All Stars Performing Arts School Forest Lake
– A group of U/10s from the Parramatta Junior division
– Campbelltown High School of the Performing Arts.
– Duavata Fiji Dance Group
Crowd Members vote for their favourite interpretation to win a 10-metre inflatable Semi Radradra statue.
What about an idea that gives something for the punters? Well, before the big game kicks off lasers divide the playing surface into one metre squares. A descending Semi Radradra drops in after breaking the Alan Eustace world record for longest free fall and lands in one of the squares. Punters in the stands and at home can wager on which square he lands in. Finally, someone in rugby league is thinking of the sports punter.
Maybe that’s too much work, how about something simple? A giant Lazy Susan is wheeled out and turned slowly and the big man simply waves to the crowd as it rotates for the entire half time break.
Or how about before the game a giant Trojan Horse shaped like Semi Radradra is wheeled into the stadium and from his belly jumps out 500 local juniors who run to every point on the ground and score 500 tries like their hero.
The limited edition Semi Radradra balls are then kicked into the crowd, with another 1000 being shot into the stadium by cannon.
Either way, it would be the first time in a long time that we were guaranteed to get some real Semi final entertainment.