For someone who did not believe he had to pump it up, Brisbane veteran Sam Thaiday sure did his best to promote the all-Queensland NRL season decider in Sydney on Monday by claiming it would “go down in history”.
While teammate Corey Parker admitted there would be some “fence sitters” on Sunday, Thaiday claimed they did not have to do much to fill the cavernous ANZ Stadium, saying their all-Queensland match-up in the NSW heartland was a promoter’s dream.
“We don’t need to promote it at all, everyone in Queensland will be in NSW come Sunday,” he smiled.
“I think if you were a promoter this would be the prize fight you would love to promote.
“There are a fair few fairytales that can be written after this – I am sure this game will go down in history.”
Thaiday said the stage was set for a blockbuster with Brisbane hoping to farewell retiring captain Justin Hodges and North Queensland vying for their maiden title in their 20th anniversary year.
Brisbane have the psychological advantage after downing the Cowboys 16-12 in the opening finals clash at Suncorp Stadium.
“The good thing about playing the Cowboys is that they bring the best out in the Broncos,” Thaiday said.
“A lot of people were telling me after that game (16-12 finals win) ‘that should have been the grand final’.
“It just so happens that we get to meet them again.
“We have played them three times this year (Brisbane ahead 2-1) and they were three cracking matches.”
A sell out crowd of almost 52,000 again packed Suncorp Stadium as Brisbane booked their first grand final since 2006 with the 31-12 rout of minor premiers Sydney Roosters last Friday night.
More than 50,000 also packed Suncorp Stadium for the Broncos’ 16-12 qualifying final win over North Queensland a fortnight ago.
Apart from renewed expansion talk, the remarkable attendances – more than double most Sydney finals crowds this year – also sparked speculation Brisbane could host a grand final in the future.
Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant further stoked the fire last week when he said they hoped to hold season deciders away from Sydney after 2019.
While humbled by the crowd response in Brisbane, Parker believed Sydney should remain the grand final host.
“Do I want a grand final in Brisbane? Short answer is yes,” he told Triple M radio.
“But I am still okay with tradition with playing a grand final in Sydney.”