Match Preview: September 17 (Grand Finals)

Photo credit: Erick Lucero/QRL

Our Suzuki Brisbane Tigers will take on the Burleigh Bears and Townsville Blackhawks respectively for their Hostplus Cup and Hastings Deering Colts grand finals this Sunday at Kayo Stadium, Redcliffe.

Find more information on the 2023 grand final day for Brisbane Tigers supporters here.

Hostplus Cup

Finals Week 4 (Grand Final): Suzuki Brisbane Tigers v Burleigh Bears
Match Kick off: 
Sunday, 17th September 2023
Kayo Stadium, Redcliffe

It has been months and months of blood, sweat and tears for the two clubs and come Sunday, just one will be crowned premiers.

Minor premiers Burleigh are coming into the clash on the back of a massive 57 to 8 preliminary final victory over the Wynnum Manly Seagulls while the Tigers qualified after a tough, gritty battle against the CQ Capras.

Both teams have won their last five games. But Burleigh have won the past three matches against our Tigers, and the sides have met once before in a grand final – clashing in 2004 with Burleigh walking away victorious with a 22 to 18 win.

Suzuki Brisbane Tigers head coach Matt Church is the first coach to make a grand final after coaching a different club the previous year. Church coached the PNG Hunters from 2020 to 2022.

Tigers backrower Leivaha Pulu will be playing in his third consecutive grand final, having played for Norths Devils in their 2021 and 2022 wins.

Read more on QRL’s website.

A preview from Suzuki Brisbane Tigers’ Hostplus Cup coach Matt Church:

“If someone had said 12 months ago that we would be in a grand final, I certainly would have taken it but I am not quite sure I would have believed them in my first year here.

We have had a fair bit of disruption but one core thing we have done is work hard. We have good people in the organisation and that is key in setting ourselves up and getting ourselves into this position.

I think I learnt a hell of a lot from the PNG Hunters and I have brought that over. Culture and connection are really huge and I cannot thank enough the players they had there that relocated for two years (to Australia).

I probably got more out of them than they learnt from me. I have been able to adapt that into what we do here.

One thing I want to do is have good people at the club and invite good people to come to our club. Then hopefully, off the back of that, the culture and hard work provides us with success.

I’m super proud, not only of our squad, but of all the club. To have both grades on grand final day is a huge achievement.

I thanked (Colts coach Mark Gliddon) Gliddo at the start of the week about backing my vision and getting on board. I know at times I can be a little bit of left field and want things a certain way.

But everyone has jumped on the back of that vision and that is not just the coaching staff but filters all the way up to our CEO and our board.

When I sat down when I interviewed for the coaching role, at the end of it I made mention that I wanted to be the coach to break the drought.

It would mean a huge thing for me personally but for the club, for our long-suffering fans, we are hoping we take that this weekend.

The Bears are a phenomenal footy side and they have been for a long period of time. They are strong across the park.

With their lightning quick fullback and what Guy can do, we have to be on our toes throughout the 80 minutes and we’re hoping to be a little bit disruptive to how they like to play.

Our (preliminary final) performance against the Capras, our attack was not where we would like it to be. We missed a couple of opportunities and certainly ones closer to the back end of the game to land a knockout blow.

But this weekend, it is very similar.

I mentioned after the Capras game that it might not have been premiership attack last week, but it was certainly premiership defence. We have to defend our backsides off and give ourselves a chance in that final few minutes to nail the game.

We do not do it for personal accolades but it would mean everything to me if we could get the job done on Sunday.

I’m not a person that likes to put themselves forward but definitely I’d have a tear in my eye. I think I have got that now just thinking about it.

On a personal level, it would be reward for the sacrifice that you make as a coach. Your family probably make the ultimate sacrifice because you do not get to spend time with them. So it would mean the world to me for that and hopefully it would make them proud.”

– Matt Church

Team list – click here.

This match will be available to watch live on (via subscription).

Next fixture:

Hastings Deering Colts

Finals Week 4 (Grand Final): Suzuki Brisbane Tigers v Townsville Blackhawks
Match Kick off: 
Sunday, 17th September 2023
Kayo Stadium, Redcliffe

The Suzuki Brisbane Tigers and Townsville Blackhawks will go head-to-head in Sunday’s Hastings Deering Colts grand final, in a bid to claim the 2023 premiership.

In what is the final year of the Colts competition, there is plenty on the line for both teams as they fight to etch their names into the history books at Kayo Stadium.

The teams met in the first week of the 2023 finals, with our Tigers defeating the Blackhawks 36 to 12.

Read more on QRL’s website.

A preview from Suzuki Brisbane Tigers’ Hastings Deering Premiership coach Mark Gliddon:

“I actually got quite emotional after the (preliminary final win) because I know how hard these guys have worked during the year to get to where they have got to and I know how much it means to them. Hopefully we can all be smiling after this weekend.

There are people who have been there long before I was and they are still there and still coming around and they remind you every five minutes that they want to win grand finals. I get that. It would be fantastic for the general Brisbane Tigers community.

The Blackhawks are a real good footy team. They throw a lot of shape at you. If we are not on defensively, it is going to be a tough afternoon for us.

They have a big middle, they are nice and direct in the middle, and when they start winning the ruck, they go to their edges.

When they go to their edges, they have some really good shape and really good players. Both their centres are dangerous there.

Their fullback, Ragsy (Wavik), has been exceptional all year. He is a very good football player.

Their No.7 Zack Lamont is former Tigers player and he goes quite well, too.

We need to starve them of possession, complete our sets, be nice and clinical and defend really well.  

Winning the grand final would mean the world to me. I have been coaching a long time. I have won grand finals, I have lost grand finals.

This is a special group. They are young and it makes me feel young. I am old, I am 55 and I am hanging around 21-year-olds and I enjoy their company. It is about them.

I would be really pleased for these guys and I hope they get that opportunity.”

– Mark Gliddon

Team list – click here.

This match will be available to watch live on (via subscription).

Brisbane Suzuki Tigers Home Games

Brisbane Suzuki Tigers home games are held at our redeveloped Totally Workwear Stadium, Langlands Park.

Tickets at the gate: Adults $10 | Concession $5 | Children under 15-years-old are free.

Getting to the game: It is recommended to catch public transport or get dropped off to avoid missing out on a carpark.

For corporate hospitality packages contact [email protected]


To keep up to date with all things Suzuki Brisbane Tigers, be sure to follow the team on FacebookInstagramYouTubeTikTokTwitter and LinkedIn.

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