Queensland's new sports minister Andrew Fraser has blasted the National Rugby League for continuing to schedule night grand finals.
Fraser, who played alongside former Origin star Paul Bowman as a junior in Proserpine, said the National Rugby League had once again locked Queensland fans out of rugby league's showpiece event.
"Tradition is important and rugby league should have kept alive the tradition of having a daytime grand final," Fraser said. "The National Rugby League thinks it can make more money this way, but I think there needs to be a balancing act between what's sacred and the need for commerce. I grew up in north Queensland and the concept of grand final day — with an afternoon barbecue — was part of the heritage of league. You'd watch the footy, have a barbecue and then when the game was over, the kids would have a kick and re-live the moments. Continuing with a night grand final is a snub to all Queensland rugby league fans."
Next week's grand final is followed by a Monday public holiday in New South Wales and despite the protest from north of the border, the NRL has persisted with a late kick-off because of television ratings.
Broncos skipper Darren Lockyer said:
"It's frustrating for the fans but what can you do — they're not going to change it this year so I think most Queenslanders, if they make the trip down, can have Monday off can't they?"