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The Roar


NRL out-entertains the AFL yet again

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5th September, 2019

It is disappointing to announce this from a Victorian standpoint, but once again the NRL know exactly how to treat their grand finals with the utmost respect from a sporting and entertainment perspective.

The NRL have had their entertainment in the wings for a while now – one of the most underrated singer-songwriters in the music industry Ryan Tedder and his American band One Republic.

The AFL have announced Australian icon Paul Kelly, Melbourne chart topper Tones and I, and Australian singer-songwriter Dean Lewis.

It just shows how much the NRL put into their grand finals, yet the AFL doesn’t care about the spectacle because it seems that they can’t afford to spend good money on bringing an international act to the game to spread it far and wide.

Gillon McLachlan has lost touch and faith with what we are expecting from a pre-game show and even with the Virgin Australia Premiership Party aspect.

Gillon McLachlan

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Todd Greenberg has won the last few years – 2017 was a draw between The Killers and Macklemore – but last year the NRL trumped the AFL by having Gang of Youths dominate the NRL grand final stage, whereas the AFL got the tone-deaf Black Eyed Peas.

McLachlan officially doesn’t care about the entertainment aspect of the grand final anymore, and is no longer considered a spectacle anymore. It’s a far cry from Bryan Adams, Ed Sheeran and The Temper Trap, who all performed earlier in the decade.


The NRL not only find the best acts, but they confirm these acts almost two months in advance.

Macklemore was announced in mid-August of 2017, Gang of Youths in mid-August last year and One Republic was announced on August 23 this year.

The AFL only announced their entertainment this week, which isn’t professional and seems rushed – another contradiction from the CEO of the AFL.

I remember when McLachlan wanted to get inspiration from the Super Bowl and go all-out with the acts for the AFL grand final, yet he doesn’t seem to think that the entertainment aspect is important anymore.

The NRL know how to accommodate their fans for the grand final, but the AFL still have a long way to go in considering what the fans want as their entertainment for the last Saturday in September.