Brisbane are declaring their innocence after a pub lunch attended by 10 players intended to celebrate the end of harder lock down measures became the latest biosecurity breach under investigation at the embattled NRL club.
The Redcliffe Dolphins and Easts Tigers will battle it out in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup grand final on Sunday at Suncorp Stadium.
Minor premiers Redcliffe are the slight favourites, but Easts have been in great form over the second half of the season.
The Tigers recovered from a slow start to the year to finish fifth, and they’ve since won three knockout finals in a row, against the Northern Pride, the Ipswich Jets and the Burleigh Bears, to secure their spot in the decider.
Redcliffe were far more consistent throughout the season to finish on top of the ladder. They then won their major semi-final against Burleigh to book their grand final spot. This weekend’s match will only be their second in the last four weeks, so they should be very fresh.
Easts are a feeder club to the Melbourne Storm, and have named Storm-contracted players Scott Drinkwater, Billy Walters, Patrick Kaufusi and Sam Kasiano in their grand final squad, as well as former South Sydney prop Dave Tyrell.
Redcliffe are a feeder club to the Broncos, with their squad featuring Kotoni Staggs, Tom Opacic and Jake Turpin, who have all played in the NRL at different stages this year. They are coached by former Canberra Raider and Queensland State of Origin winger Adam Mogg.
The teams have met twice this season, with the Dolphins winning both encounters. The first was a 32-16 victory in April, followed by a hard-fought 16-14 win in July.
Redcliffe will be looking to win the ninth first-grade premiership this weekend, having won five Queensland Cups to go with their three grand final victories in the pre-Queensland Cup/Brisbane Rugby League (BRL) era. Their last title was in 2006.
The Tigers have never won the Queensland Cup, but won eight premierships in the BRL era. Their most recent title was way back in 1991.
Whichever team wins this weekend will head to Sydney to play in the State Championship on NRL grand final day against the winner of this weekend’s New South Wales Cup grand final between the Newtown Jets and Canterbury.