NRL round 2 behind closed doors after outbreak

Dave Kuzio:

Round 1 of the NRL season will continue as normal, but round 2 matches will be played behind closed doors following two Cronulla Sharks players self-isolating.

The COVID-19 outbreak continues to cause havoc in the sport world following the decision to suspend the NBA season, the cancelation of the Australian Grand Prix this weekend and the decision to postpone all the games in the Champions League and Europa League next week.

The opening round of the NRL season got underway on Thursday with Parramatta Eels beating Canterbury Bulldogs, while two more matches went ahead as normal on Friday.

It has been confirmed that round 1 will continue as normal with the remaining five matches going ahead with spectators, despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison issuing a ban on public gatherings in excess of 500 people.

Although round 1 carries on with fans in the ground, round 2 will be played with no supporters allowed to attend.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said: “We’ve listened to the authorities who are in a far better position than we are.

“If the government gave us advice today to close the stadiums down, we would have. The measures they’re putting together are precautionary measures.

“We’re going to do everything we can to protect players from the disease. If that means a club can’t play a game in the competition or be stood down for the round, we’ll do that.

“It’s going to have significant financial impacts on all 16 clubs and the game.

“We’re in unprecedented times. If they’re in financial difficulty, we’ll keep them afloat. We’ll get through this together.”

Prime Minister Morrison earlier in the day said he would be attending Cronulla Sharks’ game against South Sydney Rabbitohs, but following the news that a Sharks player has self-isolated it has been revealed the Prime Minister will now not be in attendance.