The earlier of the two games saw the Warriors move their game against Manly to the brand spanking new Eden Park, easily New Zealand's premier stadium following a recent upgrade. The state of the art venue buzzed with a big crowd, as two of the competition heavyweights slugged it out. No doubt the beers were cold, the seats comfy and the press boxes well catered.
Compare this to the later game at Wests Leichardt oval, a ground that was perhaps in the prime of its life some thirty years ago. At Lillyfield's grand old girl the seating was standing, the beers difficult to come by and the press boxes cramped.
Both, as history shows, worked brilliantly.
Whilst the stark comparison of comfort in the stadia may appear to the interloping onlooker as grounds for inequality, the unusual balance between comfort and community that NRL clubs strike has begun to sit more comfortably with the average footy fan. Just last week when the inevitable grumbles had started about the drawbacks of playing games in boutique venues like Leichardt Bulldogs CEO Todd Greenberg, with the success of his club's Like