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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Slash, Train to kick off NRL Grand Final

Slash will pump up the crowds at the NRL Grand Final on October 5

Former Guns N' Roses guitar god Slash and American pop-rock group Train - both of whom headline Australian music festivals in the next few months - have been picked to pump up the crowd before the NRL Grand Final on October 5.

Both acts also have new albums out in the next month. 

Slash will release World on Fire with his band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators next month, while Train's seventh album, Bulletproof Picasso, is due out next week.

Train have a strong chart history here, scoring a No. 1 single in 2009 with Hey Soul Sister and a No. 5 with Drops of Jupiter in 2001. The band also has three top 10 albums.

What songs will they play? Slash (who is actually English and a fan of Stoke City football club) accompanying at least one Train song is a good bet (Hey Soul Sister is the obvious choice), while the top-hatted axeman is certain to turn out at least one classic Guns N' Roses number.

While the choice of entertainment won't entirely satisfy fans pining for the return of AC/DC or even Cold Chisel, Slash and Train seem a better fit for a big, expectant footy final crowd than Sir Tom Jones. 

The 74-year-old Welsh crooner will kick off procedings before the AFL Grand Final on September 27.

Slash is a headliner at the Soundwave festival next February and March while Train have already confirmed for Bluesfest next April 3.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Suncorp Stadium - Queensland Tourist Attractions

Suncorp Stadium Seating Map

Upcoming Events at Suncorp Stadium - View upcoming events
Suncorp Stadium - A History
Lang Park is the original name of the site located in the Brisbane suburb of Milton, Queensland, Australia, now occupied by the major sports facility known by its sponsorship name, Suncorp Stadium (formerly Suncorp-Metway Stadium). Lang Park is also known as Brisbane Stadium when in use during AFC competitions due to conflicting sponsorship reasons.
In the late 1990s, it was decided that Brisbane needed a state of the art rectangular stadium. Suncorp Stadium was chosen as the site. The $280 million redevelopment commenced in July 2001 after Game One of the 2001 State of Origin series. The redevelopment was completed in time for the match between the Brisbane Broncos and Newcastle Knights on 1 June 2003; Brisbane's first game at Suncorp Stadium for more than a decade.
The stadium is now a 52,500 state of the art all-seater rectangular stadium, a far cry from the former Lang Park oval with two grandstands set back from a perimeter road. The only remaining stand from before the redevelopment is
the Western Grandstand. The extension of the facility resulted in the demolition of a number of buildings along Milton Road, including the former Brisbane City Council trolley-bus depot.

suncorp stadium brisbane
suncorp stadium brisbane

View the official Suncorp Stadium Website at

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Grand Final Week Schedule - NRL Footy Finals

The Telstra Premiership Grand Final Lunch replaces the traditional Grand Final Breakfast for the first time. The lunch will be broadcast live on FOX Sports and is attended by the Telstra Premiership Grand Final teams, club officials, NRL guests, sponsor and commercial partners and media.

Thursday, October 3: NRL Grand Final Fan Day and Teams Presentation, Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour (10am-2pm family activities; 3-5.30pm team presentation and activities on stage);

NRL Grand Final Members Party, Sydney Entertainment Centre, Haymarket (5-7pm); and
Channel Nine Grand Final Footy Show, Sydney Entertainment Centre, Haymarket (7.30-9.30pm)

Prior to and following the official NRL Grand Final Teams Lunch, the day is devoted to Rugby League fans and members with three exciting events.

Skills clinics, family-friendly activities, will be part of the FREE NRL Grand Final Fan Day at Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour. The teams will be presented on stage between 3.15-4pm.
The NRL Grand Final Members Party at the Sydney Entertainment Centre is an invite-only event for NRL Club members.

Tickets are available from for Channel Nine’s Grand Final Footy Show at the Sydney Entertainment Centre from 7.30-9.30pm which will feature members of the Grand Final teams in their final appearance before Sunday’s Telstra Premiership Grand Final.

Friday, October 4: Grand Final Fun Day (MUST REGISER), Cathy Freeman Park, Sydney Olympic Park (10am-3pm)

Up to 800 young fans will get a taste of an NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final Day when they experience all the excitement and atmosphere of Rugby League’s biggest day of the year.

2013 AAMI Country Rugby League Player of the Year, Doltone House, Hyde Park (7pm for 7.30pm start)

The Country Rugby League celebrates its night of nights with the announcement of the AAMI Country Rugby League Player of the Year.

Saturday, October 5: Kangaroos Reunion Lunch, SCG (12-4pm)
Reunion of past and present Kangaroos players attending along with Kiwi Internationals in Australia.
Grand Final Fan Site, Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour (3-7pm)
Autograph signing and FREE special live performance by Jessica Mauboy and guests (3-4.30pm – autograph signing; 4.30-7pm – live performances).
Sunday, October 6: 2013 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final Day, ANZ Stadium (from 11am)

Grand Final Day is the culmination of an exciting week of events and a season of amazing Rugby League with over 80,000 fans attending ANZ Stadium to be part of the biggest game of the year.
The Grand Final Precinct will feature Rugby League skills clinics, entertainment, competitions, prizes, giveaways and One Community Ambassadors.

International artist Ricky Martin will headline the Grand Final Entertainment which will also feature a tribute to retiring players and Jessica Mauboy performing the national anthem.

More than 3million viewers across metropolitan and regional Australia are expected to tune into the NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final on Channel Nine.

11.00am  -   Gates Open – Telstra Grand Final Precinct
1.30pm  -   Gates Open – ANZ Stadium
1.50pm  -   Kick-off - VB NSW Cup Grand Final
3.55pm  -   Kick-off - Holden Cup Grand Final
6.53pm  -   Pre-match Entertainment   
  • Presentation to Retiring Players
  • Ricky Martin Performs
  • National Anthem – Jessica Mauboy
7.18pm  - Kick-off - NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final

Grand Final Fan Site/ Live Site, Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour (3.30-9.30pm)

The Grand Final Day fun continues from mid-afternoon as Tumbalong Park becomes a live site where a big screen will broadcast all of the action live from ANZ Stadium with the screening of the 2013 Telstra Premiership Grand Final. The live broadcast will start at 3.55pm with the Holden Cup Grand Final.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Four Key Players For This Weekend’s NRL Finals

Week one of the NRL finals delivered everything we have come to love about rugby league. It had excitement, controversy, upsets and what has to be regarded as the game of the year, in the Roosters versus the Sea Eagles.
We also saw the Bulldogs and Cowboys leave the competition, the former quietly out the back door and the latter kicking and screaming out the front door.
Now we turn our attention to finals week two, which again sees two tough match-ups – Sea Eagles versus Sharks, and Storm versus Knights.
Each team have their own points to prove in this race to make the NRL grand final.
I have selected four key players who will have the greatest impact for their team this weekend.
Manly Sea Eagles
Manly have got experience and talent all over the park and with Brett Stewart being named at fullback you could be mistaken for thinking that’s who I would choose, but the man I’ve gone for as my x-factor for the Sea Eagles is Jamie Lyon.
The captain and centre has the ability to change the game in Manly’s favour. Lyon has played 233 games and has the big match experience, that is for sure.
Whether it’s in defence or attack, Lyon is a constant threat and if the Sharks’ left side defence faults he will most definitely make them pay.
Great passing game, good touch when kicking near the line and knowing when the big play is needed, all these star attributes make Jamie Lyon such a plus for the Manly side in this NRL finals series.
Cronulla Sharks
With Todd Carney given next to no hope of taking the field tomorrow night, the Cronulla Sharks need someone to stand up and create a bit of magic and that man is Michael Gordon.
While the team boasts multiple State of Origin and Australian representative players, it’s the fullback who could have the most impact.
His leg speed close to the line enables him to bust tackles and make breaks most people couldn’t get close to doing.
His explosive speed close to the line makes him an enormous threat to the Sea Eagles’ defence, and has the ability to change the game with his goal kicking – Jamie Lyon hasn’t kicked great this year and if it comes down to a shootout in the goal kicking department, I know who my money is on.
The scary part is I still don’t think we have seen the best of Michael Gordon, let’s hope for the Sharks’ sake Manly get to see the best of Michael Gordon.
Melbourne Storm
When you think of Melbourne Storm you think of the big three, but the master and commander, the little general who steers the ship, is without a doubt Cameron Smith.
His ability to control a game is unequalled. Whether it’s in defence or attack, Smith is the number one hooker in the NRL today.
His scoots out of dummy half make metres and keep the Storm moving forward. His ability to identify weaknesses in the defensive line and combine with Billy Slater is always a threat. His awareness of when the Storm are in trouble and take control with a deep kick makes him Melbourne’s biggest asset.
You ask any coach in the NRL today if they could buy one player right now, who would it be, and they will all tell you Cameron Smith.
There is no doubt if the Storm’s forwards lay the platform, then Cameron Smith will lead them to victory.
Newcastle Knights
The surprise packet for most people in this NRL finals series is without a doubt the Newcastle Knights.
In this 2013 season the heart and soul of the Knights, week-in and week-out, has been Jarrod Mullen.
People talk about his kicking game being one of the best in the competition, and I agree. However it’s been his defence that’s most impressed me this season.
The five-eighth is always targeted in the defence line by the big boppers of the opposition but he has not faulted. Some might say it’s been similar form to the Immortal Andrew Johns.
Off the back of great defence, Mullen has grown as a leader of the team, steering the Knights around the park and kicking them to victories.
His left to right passing game and exceptional kicking game are rated as the best in the NRL.
And while Newcastle will run out on Sunday with the likes of Willie Mason, Danny Buderus, Darius Boyd and Akuila Uate in their side, look for the little number six to produce the big plays.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man – Mullen is ready to go to the next level.
Average punter’s big tips
While I am no Peter Sterling or Phil Gould, these are my tips for NRL finals series week two.
I am going for Sea Eagles to be too strong for the Sharks. Even though Cronulla have put in a tremendous effort to finish where they have, without Carney I don’t see them being able to trouble the Manly defence too often.
Granted Manly had a massive game last week and it would have taken a lot out of them, the inclusion of Brett Stewart is a big one and I see them being two tries too good.
Sea Eagles to beat the Sharks 18-6.
I am tipping the upset of the year in the second game, Knights to beat the Storm.
Yes Melbourne are the defending champions, and yes they have Smith, Slater and Cooper Cronk. But they have also lost two of their last three games and with Gareth Widdop not playing with much confidence after coming back from injury, I believe Newcastle will be too strong.
In the last four weeks the Newcastle Knights have transformed into a team growing confidence and belief in their game plan.
With the experienced heads of Buderus, Jeremy Smith and Mullen in great form and leading from the front, and the most experienced NRL coach of all time, Wayne Bennett, at the helm, I’m going the Knights to break the hoodoo down in Melbourne.
Knights to beat the Storm 16-12.
Good luck this weekend to you and your teams.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Century In The Making - Roosters VS Rabbitohs

Both the Roosters and Rabbitohs will be out to get each other in this Friday night blockbuster

It’s a script you could hardly have written; the 2013 NRL season kicked off with a blockbuster between the new look Roosters and the redemption seeking Rabbitohs. It was Burgess v Sonny-Bill, and now it’s Burgess, Burgess, Burgess and Burgess v Sonny-Bill - talk about an unfair fight! 

In Round 26 the game’s two oldest rivals will battle it out for the minor premiership, adding another chapter to the famous ‘Book of Feuds’ South Sydney part-owner Russell Crowe created upon purchasing the club. The Roosters last minor premiership was in 2004, while Rabbitohs fans have to search back to 1989 for a time when they last lifted the J.J.Giltinan Shield. 

It is approximately 105 years and one week since South Sydney met Eastern Suburbs in the first ever rugby league grand final in Australia, with the Rabbitohs running out victors 14-12 in front of approximately 4,000 spectators at the Royal Agricultural Society Showground (now redeveloped as the Entertainment Quarter and Fox Studios) at Moore Park - score one to the Rabbitohs.

It took another two years for the Roosters to gain revenge, that coming in Round 12 of 1910, but skip forward 92 years to 2002, where the Rabbitohs were playing their first game since re-admittance to the NRL. A 40-6 thrashing at the hands of the Tricolours ensued, a loss stuck in the middle of a 13 game stretch where ‘the pride of the league’ couldn’t get one over their local rivals.

100 plus years of history precedes what is without a doubt the game of the year, but that loss in 2002 still burns in the memories of modern Souths fans. The minor premiership is but a sideshow when these two sides meet, particularly since only three minor premiers have gone on to win the grand final in the past 10 seasons. 

An opening round win to the Rabbitohs kicked off what was supposed to be their year of dominance, but as we enter the final week of the season some six months later, the Roosters are here to spoil the party. No matter which side of the fence you’re on, there is one belter of a game ahead on Friday night.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sellout Anticipated When SBW Runs On With The Roosters

HE HAS been cast as a mercenary and a villain by many, but there cannot be any doubting his pulling power. Sonny Bill Williams, who was accused of selling out on the Bulldogs, may now sell out Allianz Stadium, giving the NRL a record start to this year's season.

NRL and Sydney Roosters officials are hopeful the club's round-one season opener on March 7 against South Sydney, Williams's first match for his new team, will be sold out.

The hype around Williams's debut already had ticket sales tracking well, but the performances of the two sides in their final trials over the weekend - the Roosters' 28-16 win over Wests Tigers in the Foundation Cup and the Rabbitohs' 28-10 victory over St George Illawarra in the Charity Shield - have officials expecting a further surge in ticket sales this week.

 "Ticket sales are tracking along very well"  ... chief commercial operating officer of the Roosters, Ted Helliar.
 "Ticket sales are tracking along very well" ... chief commercial operating officer of the Roosters, Ted Helliar. Photo: Getty Images

''Ticket sales are tracking along very well,'' said the chief commercial operating officer of the Roosters, Ted Helliar. ''They've been extremely positive so far.

''I'd love nothing more than to put the sold-out sign up. It's probably a little too early to tell whether it will be. This time next week, we may have a better idea.''

A sellout would mean a crowd close to the stadium's capacity of 45,500, and a record for the Roosters in a home-and-away match.

Their SCG match against St George Illawarra in 2010 drew 37,994, a record for Roosters non-finals matches.

''It would be great to see a sellout,'' an NRL spokesperson said. ''It's the first match and the first round, and there's the Sonny Bill factor. But you can never make those sorts of predictions.''

It remains an unknown how supporters will respond to a Thursday night match but the television ratings for trial matches show the appetite for the start of the NRL season is

Friday night's Charity Shield match was the highest-rating contest over a busy weekend of televised sport on pay television, drawing 240,000 viewers.

The Foundation Cup - featuring an impressive Roosters side, without Williams but including other new signings James Maloney, Michael Jennings and Luke O'Donnell, dispose of the Tigers - drew 173,000, although the crowd at Allianz Stadium was small largely because of poor weather.

In comparison, Israel Folau's Super Rugby debut with the Waratahs against the Reds drew 174,000 viewers, giving rugby union the equivalent, perhaps appropriately, of a win by a late penalty goal over the NRL trial, screened on the same night.

The strong ratings for the Foundation Cup came despite the fact that Williams, who controversially walked out on the Bulldogs in 2008 to play rugby union, was sitting on the sidelines. Roosters coach Trent Robinson erred on the side of caution with the star signing, deciding to give him more time off the field as he recovers from a pectoral injury.

Robinson remained confident Williams would be fit to play the Rabbitohs.

The Roosters emerged relatively unscathed from their final hit-out before round one; Daniel Mortimer required eight stitches to a cut under his right eye, but is not expected to be in any doubt for the season opener.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

2013 All Stars Teams Announced

Former Internationals Willie Mason and Timana Tahu will make a stunning return to representative football as rivals after the Knights team-mates were today named as ‘coach’s selections’ for next month’s Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars in Brisbane.

Newcastle and NRL All Stars Coach Wayne Bennett chose Mason to make his All Stars debut alongside Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs), James Tamou (Cowboys), Billy Slater (Storm) and Tim Grant (Panthers), while Tahu was chosen by Laurie Daley for his Indigenous All Stars side featuring seven newcomers. The others are Raiders’ trio Reece Robinson, Jake Foster and Jack Wighton, Aidan Sezer (Titans), Joel Romelo (Bulldogs) and Dane Nielsen (Warriors).

Indigenous All Stars captain Johnathan Thurston and Broncos NRL All Stars selection Ben Hannant joined Bennett and Daley in Brisbane today for the announcement of both squads for the fourth annual Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars match to be played at Suncorp Stadium for the first time on February 9.

More than 40,000 Rugby League fans have had their say via two online voting stages to select a representative from each of the 16 NRL Clubs in the 20-man NRL All Stars squad, while fans could choose from all of Rugby League’s best Indigenous talent for Daley’s Indigenous All Stars.

Following the closing of the public online voting on Monday, Bennett was able to select two extra players alongside automatic selections Benji Marshall (New Zealand captain) and Cameron Smith (Australian captain); while Daley could pick three extra players in addition to automatic selection (as captain) Thurston.

Bennett’s other ‘coach’s selection’ is the Storm’s Cooper Cronk, while Daley also chose Wighton and Nielsen.

Daley said: “We certainly have some strike-power in our team and when you look at the calibre of players we have, I think fans will be excited at the style of footy we will play.
“The NRL All Stars is a formidable side with big, powerful, class players in key positions, but I know how determined our team is to perform well and I think we have a squad capable of achieving something special.”

Bennett said the public had selected him a balanced side that would be capable of playing the exciting brand of football that had become synonymous with the All Stars game.

“There is no doubt the fans will be in for an entertaining game with the great mix of talented and exciting backs and powerful forwards in both teams, as well as the blend of experience and youth,” Bennett said.

“Just as important as the game though is the whole week of All Stars activities and community events and I commend the players for their ongoing commitment to the All Stars concept which continues to help make a real difference to the lives of many Australians.”

The 2013 NRL All Stars team is:

Player (* = All Stars debutants)Club
Billy Slater*Storm
Akuila UateKnights
Shaun Kenny-DowallRoosters
Josh MorrisBulldogs
Brett MorrisDragons
Benji Marshall, (C) (automatic selection)Wests Tigers
Adam Reynolds*Rabbitohs
James Tamou*Cowboys
Cameron Smith (automatic selection)Storm
Ben HannantBroncos
David TaylorTitans
Anthony WatmoughSea Eagles
Paul GallenSharks

Robbie FarahWests Tigers
Tim Grant*Panthers
David ShillingtonRaiders
Feleti MateoWarriors
Jarryd HayneEels

Coach’s Selections
Willie Mason*Knights
Cooper CronkStorm
The 2013 Learn Earn Legend! Indigenous All Stars team is:
Player (* = All Stars debutants)Club
Ben BarbaBulldogs
Reece Robinson*Raiders
Justin HodgesBroncos
Greg InglisRabbitohs
Blake FergusonRaiders
Johnathan Thurston (C)Cowboys
Scott PrinceBroncos
George RoseSea Eagles
Travis WaddellUncontracted
Andrew FifitaSharks
Joel ThompsonRaiders
Greg BirdTitans
Nathan PeatsRabbitohs

Ryan JamesTitans
Aidan Sezer*Titans
Joel Romelo*Bulldogs
Jake Foster*Raiders

Coach’s Selections
Dane Neilsen*Warriors
Timana Tahu*Knights
Jack Wighton*Raiders

The Queensland Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, the Hon. Jann Stuckey MP, extended her congratulations to the players on their selection today and welcomed the event to the State’s capital for the first time.

“The votes are in and with such talented athletes on both sides, the 2013 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars match at Suncorp Stadium is an event not to be missed by fans,” Ms Stuckey said.
“Broadcast to an estimated 1.5 million people, the fourth annual 2013 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars will showcase our State’s capital as a premier holiday and event destination.

“The Newman Government recognises the important role events play in delivering economic and social benefits to the communities in which they are held and we are proud to support this event through Tourism and Events Queensland.”


2010 Indigenous All Stars 16 def NRL All Stars 12
2011 NRL All Stars 28 def Indigenous All Stars 12
2012 NRL All Stars 36 def Indigenous All Stars 28

2013 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars Ticket Categories and Prices

Tickets for the 2013 Harvey Norman All Stars match are available through Ticketek outlets, on 132 849 or New Zealand customers can call 0800 842 538 or +61 132 849.

CategoriesCat 1Cat 2Cat 3
Family (2A+2J)$265.00$150.00$60.00

The Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars is supported by Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural, regional and business events across Queensland.

Find out more at