The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
Classified information released as footy shows battle it out
QUEENSLANDER Yvonne Sampson is the face of a newlook Monday night Footy Show that will air next month, as Channel 9 goes head to head with Fox Sports’ Matthew Johns.
With Brisbane and North Queensland near the top of the ladder and an all-Queensland grand final a possibility, the Nine Network plans to meet the demand from fans for more rugby league content.
Sampson will host Footy Classified NRL Finals, an hourlong show aimed at analysing each team’s finals performances, starting tomorrow week at 9.30pm.
Joining Sampson on the panel will be league Immortal Andrew ‘‘Joey’’ Johns, former Raiders, Roosters and Storm star Brett Finch and another Queenslander in injured Maroons and Storm fullback Billy Slater.
Experienced commentator and former NSW Origin coach Phil ‘‘Gus’’ Gould will also be conducting one-on-one interviews with the prominent figures involved in the finals.
Footy Classified NRL Finals will air every Monday for four weeks until the grand final on Sunday, October 4, and will be televised in addition to Nine’s Footy Shows on Thursday night and Sunday.
With Fox Sports’ Monday Night with Matty Johns – which also features former NRL forwards Gorden Tallis, Nathan Hindmarsh and Bryan Flet- cher – to also continue throughout the finals, Monday night will provide fans with a variety of league entertainment and analysis.
Nine’s head of sport, Steve Crawley, said the program would have a “heavy footy focus’’ while claiming Sampson, who has hosted Nine’s Sunday afternoon league this season, a television natural.
“Yvonne is a star,’’ Crawley said.
“They (other panel members) all respond well to her, they like working with her and she doesn’t pretend to know what she doesn’t know.
“We don’t care if you’re male or female, we don’t want people pretending to know what they don’t.
“We’ve got the experts – the people who know more than anyone – already sitting on the panel.
“This show is about drawing on that expertise to break down and analyse the performances of the players and their clubs over the finals.”