Legends of our Club and iconic premiership-winning coaches, Des Morris OAM (Tiger #578) and John Lang (Tiger #606) have shared what it takes to win a grand final as coach of the mighty Tigers.
Morris played in six grand finals over an 11 year period and was a member of the Club’s 1972 premiership side, before captain-coaching the Tigers to premierships glory in 1977 and 1978.
In 1980, Morris moved to play with Wynnum-Manly Seagulls before taking on the head coaching role, winning premierships in 1982 and 1984.
What was your favourite coaching moment of your Tigers’ grand final?
“Fortunately, I had already played in a few before I was coach. But it is always great to be in any grand final after all the work that goes into getting there, let alone winning one.
1977 was a great grand final win as we had been beaten 16 to 1 by Wests the year before. So to turn that around was very satisfying.
To win it again in 1978 was a great thrill, and showed the character of the players involved.
I also played in the 1968, 1971 and 1972 grand finals. 1972 was similar to 2023’s grand final as it had been a long time for the Club to win one.
But that just made it better, as this one will be.”
What is the best aspect of coaching in a grand final?
“It is really about your teammates and officials that make the sacrifices and put in the time required to be successful.
It is a reward for the team to be the best team in that competition for that season. Not that many people get to play in grand finals.”
Coaching in a grand final is a great privilege as it gives you the opportunity to play the very best opposition and teams in the competition.
It ends up being the best two teams from the season. Also it gives the players the opportunity to play the best in the competition and usually brings out the best in our players.”
What is the most difficult aspect of coaching in a grand final?
“The difficult part is going through the season with your ups and downs as a team and as individuals, and getting everyone on the same page at the same time.
Team harmony is vital to having a good season.”
How did you celebrate your grand final win?
“By that time of year everyone is reasonably close and knows each other pretty well. The Club had a big celebration and party on the field with musicians and fireworks.
But I had a brewery truck business at the time so I went home about 11pm and went to work at 6am and caught up with the team in the afternoon at the Stones Corner Hotel the next day.
In those days we often had social commitments in the city as different organisations had celebratory functions.”
What are your words of advice to our Colts and Hostplus Cup Tigers ahead of their grand finals on Sunday?
“Well gents, you have worked very hard all year to get to where you are!
Do not waste it. Make the most of your opportunities this weekend!
Listen to your coach. Do not let outside noise or frustration get in the way and play as a team.
The game is not over till the final whistle.
Congratulations on a good season and making the grand final. Do not sell yourself short, and bring the trophy home to the mighty Brisbane Tigers!”
Premiership-winning coach John Lang also knows what our Tigers need to do on Sunday to give our squads their best chance to win the grand final.
Lang played in three grand finals for the Tigers in 1972, 1977 and 1978, then coached the Tigers to premierships in 1983, 1991 and more grand finals in 1992 and 1993.
“Grand finals are all about keeping it simple. Every bit of experience you have as either a player or coach helps you next time you are in a similar position.
I always went into a grand final with a belief in our team. If you do not have that, you are no chance.
The best aspect of coaching in a grand final is the opportunity to win it, and the greatest moment in winning a grand final is the moment when you realise you have got it won.
Probably the most difficult aspect is deciding whether an injured player is fit enough to play.
By the time I was coaching I was not into anything big after the game celebrations. But in reality, you celebrate for the rest of your life.
My advice to any player before a grand final is to not focus too much on the result but to make sure they are ready to do their job to the best of their ability.
The other piece of advice I would give is to make sure they fill their time in the lead up to the game doing something they enjoy and not just sit around waiting for the time to pass.”
2023 Grand Final Day information for Tigers fans
Hosted at Redcliffe’s Kayo Stadium, the Hostplus Cup and Hastings Deering Colts grand finals will showcase Queensland’s premier footballers as they battle it out for the 2023 premierships.
Here is everything you need to know for our Tigers’ Hostplus Cup and Hastings Deering Colts’ 2023 grand final day, Sunday 17 September.
Kayo Stadium – corner of Klingner Road and Ashmole Road, Redcliffe QLD 4020.
There will be a free shuttle service on loop from Kayo Stadium to Kippa-Ring Train Station from 10am to 6pm on game day.
There is limited parking at Kayo Stadium on event day. We strongly encourage you to make alternative parking arrangements or make use of the free shuttle service.
For more information about the stadium click here.
TIMINGS FOR GRAND FINAL DAY – Sunday 17 September
Gates Open: 2.45pm
Hastings Deering Colts grand final kick off: 3.15pm
Suzuki Brisbane Tigers vs Townsville Blackhawks
Hostplus Cup 2023 grand final kick off: 5.30pm
Suzuki Brisbane Tigers vs Burleigh Bears
For all ticketing options, including options to sit in the Tigers Supporter Bay, visit Ticketek’s website.
Tickets are priced from $15.
BROADCAST AND STREAMING OPTIONS
SUPPORTER BUSES FROM LANGLANDS PARK
Buses for Brisbane Tigers supporters will depart from Easts League Club (entrance on Main Avenue) at 2pm on Sunday 17 September.
After the Hostplus Cup grand final, buses will depart Kayo Stadium approx. 7.45pm and return to Easts League Club.
Seats are strictly limited to 250 people, so please purchase and reserve your seat via this link from Tuesday 12 September.
ATTENTION: THIS TICKET IS NOT FOR ENTRY TO THE GAME. This is only for a seat on the supporters bus.
You must buy your game day ticket separately.
Read more on QRL’s website here.