NRL news 2021: Manly Sea Eagles police escort, Manly vs South Sydney preliminary final
Manly needed a police escort to get to its preliminary final and several NRL legends believe doesn’t bode well for the Sea Eagles.
Manly has been given a police escort to its preliminary final against South Sydney in a far from ideal preparation for its biggest game of the season.
The Sea Eagles were driving from their base on the Sunshine Coast to Suncorp Stadium but were caught in traffic on the away to the stadium.
The kick off was pushed back 15 minutes to 8.05pm AEST with Matty Johns telling Fox League that the Sea Eagles were “getting a police escort”.
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The team did arrive just before 7pm after requiring the escort for the last 30km to the stadium.
Cooper Cronk said it was because “It’s the best ticket in town”.
The match could be the end of Wayne Bennett’s tenure with South Sydney if they lost a fourth straight preliminary final.
Some wild conspiracy theories on social media speculated coach Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler might have deliberately delayed the team bus in some mind games.
Michael Ennis said it’s not the first time that this had happened to Des Hasler.
“We all know what a lunatic he is, the 2014 Grand Final on the bus for Canterbury, we were late,” Ennis said.
“We got stuck in traffic out the back of ANZ Stadium and the interrogation from Des on the bus driver was unrivalled. I could only imagine the torture he would have put on the bus driver tonight to find another route to get to the ground.
“Luckily the police turned up and got them an escort.”
Canterbury went on to lose that game — ironically a 30-6 loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs — which Cronk called “a bad omen”.
“How did 2014 end up?” a Cronk asked Ennis tongue-in-cheek.
“Not great,” Ennis replied.
Sea Eagles star Tom Trbojevic said it was “a bit different”.
“It’s not what you want but everyone’s really focused, the game’s been pushed back a bit so we’ll fly into it,” he said.
Hilariously, Queensland Police, who got the Sea Eagles to the stadium, also posted to social media at the same time, showing they’d picked a favourite — and they weren’t from NSW.
The winner of the match will play the winner of tomorrow’s clash between the Melbourne Storm — or as the Queensland Police call them after two years and plenty of links to the area, the Sunshine Coast Storm — and Penrith Panthers.