Penrith have the keys for a week, but skipper Matt Moylan still won’t call Allianz Stadium home.
Clinching sixth spot after the final game of the NRL season, the Panthers opted to take Sunday’s NRL elimination final against Canterbury to the Moore Park venue instead of the Bulldogs’ home of ANZ Stadium.
They will be the only club playing away from their true home ground in week one of the finals, with Brisbane playing Gold Coast at Suncorp Stadium and Melbourne taking on North Queensland at AAMI Park.
In the fourth game, Canberra will enjoy the backing of an expected sell-out crowd against Cronulla in the nation’s capital on Saturday.
But the Panthers faithful have to make a 150km round trip from the foot of the Blue Mountain for their final in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
“It’s not too bizarre,” Moylan said during the launch of the NRL finals on Monday.
“I think if we had of played at ANZ, it’s more of a home game for them than us. Here it’s a neutral ground. I wouldn’t say it’s anyone’s home game, really.”
However, Moylan stopped short of saying it was unfair on his club.
In fact he is instead motivated by the challenge of leading his team into the business end of the year.
The Panthers enter the finals on a five-game winning streak.
“It’s just the way it panned out. We can’t do nothing about it, we’ve just got to come here and play. It doesn’t really matter where you’re playing, we’ve still got to win,” he said.
“The club offer buses to go out at most games, I’d expect there’ll be some buses sent down here.”
The Bulldogs won the only meeting between the two sides this year when rookie Kerrod Holland nailed a conversion on debut to win 18-16.