OPINION: Cronk clash at Adelaide is a waste
THE most highly-anticipated game of the 2018 National Rugby League season could be played in a state whose top competition didn't have an A-grade grand final.
When the Roosters were revealed as the winners of former Melbourne Storm halfback Cooper Cronk's prized signature, most fans locked in the divisive Sydney club for the 2018 title.
The thought of Cronk playing for any team other than Melbourne was once considered unfathomable.
The prospect of seeing him play for a team against Melbourne is unmissable.
But that moment, which could have meant slapping the "sold out” sign at AAMI Park or the Allianz Stadium, will now be played in a state with no presence in the NRL.
The South Australian Rugby League grand final was abandoned in farcical fashion as reigning premiers South Adelaide Bulldogs took a knee and protested in the middle of the field.
The Bulldogs protested the way the competition was run, and took action they believed was required for the NRL to take notice.
The referee abandoned the game and awarded the game, and the title, to Central Districts Roosters.
Cronk made his name alongside fullback Billy Slater and hooker Cameron Smith as the Storm's, Queensland's and Australia's "Big Three”.
They spent more than a decade together in the NRL, though they combined earlier, with Greg Inglis, at Norths Devils before then.
The Roosters took their June 24 home game against Melbourne to Adelaide this year, which the tri-colours won 25-24 in front of more than 21,000 people.
Allianz could attract double that, while AAMI Park can host 30,000 fans.
If the NRL's plan is to revisit a franchise at the South Australian capital, who hosted the Rams in 1997-98, then why not consider another high-profile opponent, like Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs?
If the status quo remains unchanged, Roosters fans are robbed of an opportunity to see their highest-profile recruit in years in arguably the game of the season.
The onus is now on the AFL-mad city's population and travelling fans to prove this is the right call.