I reckon the next few weeks will see the greatest festival of footy in the history of Suncorp Stadium...
Given some of the amazing games of various codes that we have witnessed on the hallowed strip of green over the decades that is a huge call, but for a mixture of sheer quality, quantity and question marks, the 28-day period from April 30 to May 27 will take a lot of beating.
It all starts on the last night of April with the local derby between the improving Broncos and resurgent Titans. Despite their stumble against the Sea Eagles last weekend the Titans have been one of the most exciting teams in the NRL so far this season, and the wholehearted effort Kevvie’s boys put in against competition leaders Penrith showed there is light at the end of the tunnel. Add in the spice of ex-Bronco David Fifita turning out for the Titans in Brisbane for the first time and it should be a bottler.
Saturday May 8 will be the biggest night for Queensland rugby in 10 years, with the Reds hosting the Super Rugby AU final. More than 20,000 were at Suncorp Stadium for their recent heart-stopping win over the Brumbies. How many will be there for the Big One? I’m tipping 35,000-plus.
The following weekend it is the aptly named Magic Round with all 16 NRL teams heading to Brisbane. The Magic Round concept, borrowed from the UK, kicked off in 2019 and has since become a jewel of the NRL calendar as it showcases the game, the city and the stadium.
Saturday May 22 will be another red-letter day for rugby fans as the Reds take on NZ heavyweights the Crusaders in the much-anticipated Super Rugby trans-Tasman crossover competition. With the Aussies and Kiwis kept apart due to COVID last season, this will be a chance for the table-topping Queenslanders to show just how they shape up to their rivals from over the ditch. Or, put another way, to make the doubters eat their words.
Then finally, on Thursday May 27, we have the Broncos taking on the reigning premiers Melbourne Storm. When they met at AAMI Park in round four the mercurial Ryan Papenhuyzen tore Brisbane apart with four tries and five goals in a 40-6 flogging, meaning the Broncos will be desperate to turn the tables in front of their home supporters.
That's 28 days, 12 games, one final, every NRL team and the return of the Kiwis. I reckon if you can’t find something to rock your boat in that lot you need to get a new boat.
What do YOU reckon?