Australian captain Cameron Smith admits he wanted to play Friday night’s trans-Tasman clash but understands why it became the first Kangaroos Test abandoned on home soil.
Torrential rain has sabotaged Australia’s one-off Test with the Kiwis at a water-logged Suncorp Stadium, prompting it to be postponed until Sunday.
The last time a Kangaroos Test was re-scheduled was back in 1948 in England.
Smith said he initially did not believe talk at the team hotel that the match could be called off before arriving at a sodden Suncorp Stadium.
“I thought, ‘it’s a Test match, it is not going to be called off’,” he said.
“From a players’ point of view we probably would have gone out to play.
“But looking at the general conditions around the city I think it was the best for everyone.
“We don’t want to put anyone in danger trying to watch a footy game.
“And there’s been a lot of talk about player safety over the last couple of seasons and they have heeded that call tonight.”
The signs were ominous when the women’s Jillaroos-Kiwi Ferns Test was called off at 5.30pm.
Showers refused to ease and flooded sections of the ground, forcing the NRL’s hand after consultation with stadium officials and Channel Nine.
NRL head of football Todd Greenberg admitted it was a “big call”.
However, he believed it was the right one not only for the players but fans after showers over the past 24 hours in south-east Queensland had caused flash flooding, disrupted public transport and cut roads.
“Primarily it is about player safety,” he said.
“But equally as important to us is the fans – it’s gridlock in the city tonight, there’s issues with public transport so we made the decision.”
Greenberg said they left the call to re-schedule the match until as late as possible after the threat of lightning eased.
Greenberg said in the end all players and coaches plus stadium officials and Channel Nine supported the call.
Channel Nine have brought the broadcast of their City-Country game at Wagga Wagga forward to 2pm on Sunday in order to also televise the postponed Test.
“I have to congratulate Channel Nine,” Greenberg said.
“It’s an expensive exercise because we have to change plans.
“We are mindful of the impact…(but) we are in new territory for the game.”
Greenberg could only laugh when a New Zealand journalist told him that Kiwis were already complaining that the match should have been held across the ditch.
“I can’t control the weather,” he smiled.
It marked only the second time a Kangaroos Test had been postponed until the fog-delayed third Ashes Test against Great Britain at Bradford in 1948.
It is the second sporting event at Suncorp Stadium to be canned in the space of six weeks.
Brisbane Roar’s A-League match against Wellington at Suncorp Stadium was called off due to rain on March 22.
The Jillaroos-Kiwi Ferns match will again be the curtain raiser on Sunday, from 2pm.
All tickets purchased for Friday night’s match will be valid for the re-scheduled match.
There will be full refunds for those unable to attend.