BRONCOS 2020 DRAW
I reckon Brisbane’s 2020 home draw couldn’t have been much better if Anthony Seibold had put it together himself. The season starts away, against the Cowboys at their brand new $250 million Townsville stadium, but from round two onwards it’s a feast of 13 great match-ups at Suncorp Stadium. First up on Friday March 20 it’s a grudge match against Wayne Bennett’s Rabbitohs which, after the verbal jousting between Seibold and former Broncos’ assistant coach Jason Demetriou last season, should be an absolute ball-tearer. In fact, I put it at number one on my Top 5 Broncos home games of 2020. In second place I’ve gone for the round five return clash against the Cowboys on Friday April 10. Always a huge crowd puller, the Queensland Derby is sure to pack the joint. At number three I’ve gone for round eight and the Sea Eagles on Friday May 1. The second game of Magic Round with every club – and their supporters – in town for a celebration of rugby league, the atmosphere will be, well, magic. In fourth spot I have round 20 on Friday July 31 when all Broncos fans will be wanting to give a real warm welcome to the Eels who handed out the thrashing of all thrashings on their own home turf in the finals last season. Then, last but by no means least, is round 25 on Friday September 4, and what better way for the Broncos to end the minor competition than to test their mettle against back-to-back reigning premiers the Roosters? If that line-up doesn’t have your heart racing you’re following the wrong game. I reckon the season can’t start quick enough. What do YOU reckon?
I’m not asking What Do YOU Reckon this week because I reckon I know. You’re good people and I’m sure you’re all right behind the very important community work done by Suncorp Stadium each year. This includes supporting a large number of local community groups and schools, raising hundreds of thousands each year; hosting the 42 for 42 Walk which raises funds for families of service personnel killed in the Afghanistan conflict, the Stadium’s Christmas Day lunch which this year will feed 200 homeless and disadvantaged; and the Stadium’s major fundraising event, the much anticipated annual Golf Day in support of Hear and Say. Being held at Hope Island tomorrow, the Golf Day has been a big part of the Queensland social calendar for the past nine years and in that time has raised nearly $400,000 with another $50,000 targeted for this year. Through the funds raised for Hear and Say, Suncorp Stadium has been proud to sponsor three hearing-impaired youngsters each year as they make their way through life. With the help of corporate sponsors such as Qantas and Lexus, and the participation of rugby league legends including Gene Miles, Stadium Ambassador, Matt Gillett, and Hear and Say patron Wally Lewis the Golf Day has provided unforgettable memories for hundreds of participants over the years. But you don’t have to swing a club to take part. You can do your bit by buying a ticket in the mega raffle online for a chance to win incredible prizes such as a one-off Melbourne Cup Birdcage Experience or 2020 Adelaide State of Origin package. Check it all out on https://app.galabid.com/ssgolfday/items. I reckon you’ll be amazed.
GRAND FINAL TO BRISBANE?
I reckon the NRL should say ‘thanks but no thanks’ no matter what the NSW government offers as incentive to hold the 2021 grand final at the outdated and unsuitable SCG. In the fallout from the public relations disaster that was the 2019 decider, the game’s administrators have a golden opportunity to win back the support of the rugby league heartland by moving the showpiece to Queensland. For once the NRL can show that they are listening to the people by turning down the government’s compensation offer and putting what is best for the game ahead of political expediency. It is not as if fans are asking the NRL to throw over 100 years of tradition out the window. All Queenslanders want is one game, and why shouldn’t they get it? In Suncorp Stadium they have the best rugby league ground in the world and for over 30 years they have proven themselves to be the game’s most passionate and loyal supporters. There is also a simple matter of fairness. In return for taxpayers providing $2 billion to upgrade Sydney’s antiquated rugby league stadiums the NSW government extracted 25 grand finals from the NRL. Queensland taxpayers have contributed $800 million to providing three outstanding venues and to date have got nothing in return from the NRL. Surely one grand final isn’t too much to ask. The fiasco over delays to the building process has provided the NRL with a one-off opportunity to do the right thing. I reckon when even NSW legends like Tommy Raudonikis say the game should be played at Suncorp Stadium, it is time for the NRL to listen. What do YOU reckon?