Souths fans don’t travel. By GE: Multiple award winning writer from unbiased (or only slightly so) reporter land. It was touted as the game with green and red wrapping. “Manly fans don’t travel” screamed the predictable but factually incorrect anti-Manly media as they consistently do around finals time. “It’s going to be a sellout,” claimed ticket sellers far and wide. “Souths fans buying tickets 5 to 1 over Manly fans,” reported these ‘honest men’ of sports reporting. In fact, Souths had been given every possible advantage in ensuring their fans turned out in droves. The NRL, the organisation ‘bought’ by channel 9 whose CEO is an unabashed souths fan had delivered the following scenario for souths: 1)Despite finishing second Manly are stripped of a home final and instead have to choose between either Souths home ground, or a ground in Souths’ fans backyard; 2)Despite being the second qualifying final, for the first time in over 100 years this game was played first, due to a perception in ‘ratings for Friday night’ but also making travel harder for Manly fans most of who actually work; and 3) The earlier game handed souths a much longer recovery time for their players over those of Manly. So, in essence Souths fans were given a finals game in their own backyard against a weakened opposition. In addition to this disgraceful programming, Manly captain Jamie Lyon was still expected by the media to dance around like a puppet asking for Manly fans to travel to the game. Then what transpired Friday night? 80,000 fans? Nope. 60,000 fans? Not on your life. Surely…….. 40,000 “pride of the league” fans of Souths would turn out to support their club in what was obviously going to be a one way contest? - You must be kidding yourself. 30,000? I mean the broncos get almost that every Friday in the regular season? Now you’re just trying to make me laugh. No, no, no, no, no. In fact only 25,000 fans in total turned out for the game of which 10,000 were estimated to be Manly fans! Incredible! Incredibly disappointing more like it! Manly fans are lambasted every finals for seemingly not willing to travel, are denied of home finals because of an inadequate stadium (attn. NRL, you can always chip in to improve the stadium, you do have a billion dollars which presumably can’t all be used for SBW, other roosters players, or anyone called Burgess) and are forced to endure seeing their opposition handed every advantage. Yet where were the Souths human wave of support? 15,000 for a finals game just down the road in an ultra-modern stadium? Hang your head in shame so called Souths fans for not turning out, hang your head in shame NRL management for your super stadium policy, hang your head in shame channel 9 for your blatant bias in assisting one team to the Grand Final, and finally….. Hang your collective heads in shame sports ‘journalists’ of the NRL for once again not reporting the facts of this attendance debacle or having the intestinal fortitude to follow through on your ‘Manly fans don’t travel’ rhetoric. May Manly prove you all wrong…..yet again.