And here we thought all the sports were going dark for a bit.
The National Rugby League (NRL) in Australia is going ahead with its season, which began Thursday with Round 1, doing so in front of the only crowd it will have for the foreseeable future. Australia announced a ban on gatherings of more than 500 people that will go into effect Monday to help stop the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.
With an attentive audience on hand, the Brisbane Broncos celebrated a score with an important hand washing routine. Because we should all make sure we’re doing that (but for real, with soap, for at least 20 seconds and not missing a spot).
— NRL on Nine (@NRLonNine) March 13, 2020
The commentators’ remarks made it even better.
The successful 5-point try put the Broncos up, 10-4, and they went on to win, 28-21. Round 1 is the first week of the season and it continues for a total of 25 rounds, with three finals weeks and a Grand Final. At this point, the league will continue forward but close stadiums to fans as per the government guidelines, and assess as it goes forward.
CEO Todd Greenberg said via NRL.com:
"If the government gave us advice today [for round 1] to close the stadiums down we would have. The measures they're putting together are precautionary measures.
"We're going to do everything we can to protect players from the disease. If that means a club can't play a game in the competition or be stood down for the round we'll do that."
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