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Brisbane set to gorge itself on a sporting feast

The Tahs and Reds kick off the 2016 Super Rugby season in Australia. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Roar Guru
4th March, 2015
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Brisbane sports fans are being treated to a mammoth weekend of sporting fixtures, starting on Thursday and stretching all the way through to Sunday.

Three champion teams, namely the South Sydney Rabbitohs (NRL and World Club champions), NSW Waratahs (Super Rugby champions) and Western Sydney Wanderers (AFC Champions League winners) across three different sports will all descend on Lang Park over the course of the weekend.

Adding the current Sheffield Shield table toppers, Western Australia, into the mix means there is no shortage of top level sport for Brisbane fans to sink their teeth into.

However, it’s not just the big ticket events that are vying for the attentions of sports fans. Both the Queensland Cup and Queensland Premier Rugby have their season openers this weekend, and the National Premier Leagues has its second round of fixtures.

Wherever you look this weekend in Brisbane, there will be competitive sport.

Starting with the return of league, Thursday night sees the long awaited start of the NRL season, where off-field controversies can finally be put on the back burner and fans can get their teeth stuck into the meaningful action on the field.

The season kicks off in Brisbane with an absolute cracker of a match between the Broncos and Rabbitohs at Lang Park. A big crowd is expected as Brisbane fans welcome back ‘super coach’ Wayne Bennett for his much anticipated second stint at the club.

But it’s not just the top dogs who kick off their regular season this weekend. The Queensland Cup also opens its gates to the public on Saturday, with seven games taking place across the state. The pick of the games is Easts Tigers hosting the reigning champions Northern Pride at Langlands Park on Sunday at 1:40pm.

If rugby league doesn’t do it for you, then look no further than the newly branded BLK Queensland Premier Rugby. With eight of the nine teams in action on Saturday, including 44 players who played in the inaugural National Rugby Championship last year, fans can expect a jump in quality across the board this season.

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And if the local club scene alone doesn’t satisfy your rugby fix, then a blockbuster at Lang Park later that evening sure will. The oldest rivalry in Australian sport will have a new chapter written in its annals on Saturday night as the Queensland Reds host the reigning Super Rugby champions, the Waratahs.

The ‘Tahs are coming off a bye week, and will look to hit the ground running after recording a tough win in Melbourne in Round 2, and a shock defeat at home to the Force in Round 1. The Reds, who have won just one of their first three matches, will look to banish memories of last season’s embarrassing 32-5 and 34-3 losses. This match is also a chance for Queenslanders to get their first look at prodigal son James O’Connor.

The Lang Park pitch will certainly be getting a workout this weekend, as the Brisbane Roar take on Western Sydney Wanderers in a replay of last year’s grand final on Sunday.

As a backdrop to the A-League, the Queensland arm of the National Premier Leagues has also gotten underway, with the second round of fixtures due to start on Friday night when Brisbane City host the Brisbane Strikers. The NPL, the second tier below the A-League, has undergone a recent transformation and with the backing of a new sponsor PS4, and a strong social media strategy, this competition could help reinvigorate grassroots football and create a path for budding stars to make it to the A-League.

But if the football codes don’t do it for you – and with temperatures expected to reach over 30 degrees nobody should be blamed for leaning more towards the summer sports codes – then perhaps first class cricket will get your juices flowing.

Although the ‘Gabba’s World Cup duties are disappointingly over so early in the show, and much to the dismay of many, there is still top level cricket to be found in Brisbane this weekend.

A trip to Allan Border Field will see spectators treated to a key Sheffield Shield clash between Queensland and Western Australia. Starting on Thursday, the majority of spectators are likely to catch the business end of the four-day match over the weekend at one of Australia’s more picturesque grounds.

There is truly something for everyone this weekend, and I personally can’t wait.

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