The Anzac Test has been postponed until tomorrow on account of horrendous weather at Lang Park.
With the surface more closely resembling a swimming pool and the rain showing no signs of abating, the final call was made to push the game back was made about two hours before the scheduled kick-off time of 8:00pm AEST.
The women’s game between the Jillaroos and Kiwi Ferns was called off earlier in the evening.
We need to be very mindful of the players. Clearly the conditions tonight weren’t safe for them.NRL chief operating officer Todd Greenberg
NRL chief operating officer Todd Greenberg said player safety was the number-one priority.
“It’s a big decision [made] primarily around two things: First of all it’s player safety,” he told reporters on Friday night.
“We need to be very mindful of the players. Clearly the conditions tonight weren’t safe for them.
“But equally important to us is the fans. There’s a lot of people looking forward to this game.
“Lots of tickets sold, there’s gridlock in the city tonight. Lots of issues with public transport so we made our decision… first of all around player safety and second of all about the fans.”
The risks of lightning and a surface that would “put the players in a very difficult spot” were taken into account before pushing the game back to Sunday afternoon.
“Coaches from both teams, players from both teams, the stadium itself, and all of the authorities have been very supportive,” Greenberg said.
The league tried to find a happy balance between making a call in a reasonable amount of time and giving the weather a chance to let up.
Tickets purchased for Friday’s game will be valid on Sunday.
“We’re also seeing good weather for the weekend, particularly on Sunday,” he said.
“I hope lots of people come here on Sunday afternoon to support the game.”
The City v Country clash in Wagga will be played played at 2:00pm AEST and the Jillaroos clash will be played as a curtain raiser to the Brisbane Test.
The game could not be played on Saturday because three games – Junior Kangaroos and two Pacific Tests – are taking place on the Gold Coast on Saturday.