The NRL’s pre-game Grand Final entertainment got off to a rocky start on Sunday night.
Jimmy Barnes was billed as the headline act, but before Barnes took the stage the NRL paid tribute to the retiring stars of the game in a moment that fell apart like a cheesecake without a biscuit base.
Players stood in the stands as the stadium announcer worked through the list of those 21 departing the game.
Close to half the players honoured however weren’t in attendance, forcing the announcer to continually say they were “unable to attend” which quickly became the butt of the joke.
“This “unable to attend tonight” tribute is beautiful,” Ryan Fitzgerald tweeted.
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Bliss n Eso, featuring JOY, then took the stage to farewell the players and their performance didn’t quite hit the right notes with fans.
The Aussie hip hop artists attempted to get the fans up and out of their seats but those in attendance weren’t having it despite the repeated demands.
As the main pre-game act got underway it was Sheldon Riley opening the show with an ominous rendition of ‘Everybody wants to rule the world’.
But then came the main man to rescue what had been a lacklustre build up. Barnesy hit the stage and the crowd got off their feet for the first time.
Barnes then made his way through a host of guest stars from Diesel, Josh Teskey and Emma Donovanto blast out some tunes, it was the second half of the act that divided opinions among those watching on.
Earlier in the day Mahalia Barnes wowed fans ahead of the NRLW Grand Final with a breathtaking display.