Gorden Tallis says Cronulla fans should have been given the chance to fill an alternative venue and turn it into a "home away from home" fortress rather than play Saturday's elimination final against the Sydney Roosters at half-built PointsBet Stadium.
The former international believes the Sharks – and the game – have missed a golden opportunity by not shifting the game to a bigger stadium and allowing Cronulla members and fans a few days' head start to snap up tickets before Roosters supporters had their shot.
Accor, Allianz and Commbank Stadium were all put forward as alternative venues. Tallis argued that by playing the game at PointsBet Stadium, which has a reduced capacity due to a major rebuild, thousands of fans have been robbed of the opportunity to attend.
Speaking on NRL360, Tallis said: "You’re going to turn down 15,000 Sharks fans who would probably love (to) go watch them play. Aren’t all grounds the same now? Aren't most dressing-rooms the same.
"Isn’t it about the crowd? Isn't it about the pressure and the noise. Isn’t that the home ground advantage? The fans make the ground. If they (Cronulla) can go to a bigger ground and have three days to sell that out and it's all Cronulla (then that’s an advantage)."
Former Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen remains stunned anyone would seriously suggest his old club shift venues, especially if that venue is the Roosters' base at Allianz Stadium.
"You know the winning percentage the Sharks have at Allianz Stadium? Zero, they haven't won a game there," he told 100% Footy. "The Roosters win 70 per cent of their games there.
"Why on earth would the Sharks give them an advantage and play at their home ground with no financial benefit to the club at all? Rules are rules. Change the rules if people aren’t happy. Don't chop and change because we can only hold 13,000 there."
Roosters' strong record at Shark Park
Cronulla was never going to give up its advantage and move the game – not that the short trip south will unduly worry the Roosters.
Trent Robinson's team enjoys a great record in the Shire, winning four straight games between 2017-22 before Cronulla ended the run in round seven of this year's competition.
In the 54 matches played between the clubs at Shark Park – known by myriad names over its history – the Roosters have a 29-23 winning advantage with two games drawn. Overall, the Chooks boast a 63-35-2 record after 100 encounters against Cronulla.
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