Townsville Bulletin



SATURDAY’S double-header of NRL finals action at Queensland Country Bank Stadium is fast becoming Townsville’s biggest ticket since the historic State of Origin clash.

A NRL spokesman has confirmed about 15,000 tickets have so far been sold for the blockbuste­r, featuring a qualifying final between the Penrith Panthers and South Sydney Rabbitohs, and an eliminatio­n final between the Sydney Roosters and the Gold Coast Titans.

Townsville was confirmed as a venue for week one of the NRL finals last week, just a fortnight after it was confirmed QCBS would host a double-header of Rugby Championsh­ip games between Australia and Argentina, and New Zealand and South Africa.

Townsville rugby league junior and former Sydney Roosters player Anthony Mitchell, whose father is CEO of the Gold Coast Titans, said the games were a major win for Townsville and North Queensland.

“Covid has been a punish for a lot of people, but for regional areas like Townsville and Rockhampto­n there’s been silver linings, and this is one of them,” Mitchell said.

“I think they will be tremendous games and it’s another great thing for Townsville.”

Mitchell played 16 games for the Roosters in his NRL career, which also featured games for the Parramatta Eels and Cowboys.

His dad Stephen was commercial general manager at the North Queensland Cowboys and CEO of Touch Football Australia before being appointed Titans CEO in 2018.

Stephen took the reins of a club experienci­ng many rough patches, but three years later the Titans are the only Queensland team playing in this season’s NRL finals.

“I will have a soft spot for the Roosters, but I will be cheering for the Titans,” Mitchell said. “They are the only Queensland team in the final, but I’ll be cheering for them mainly because of my dad.

“He has worked very hard with the owners of the club in implementi­ng more structure at the club from the top down.

“I think this year is a glimpse of what the future will be like at the Titans.

“They have a good chance in this game, but the Roosters are veterans when it comes to this sort of stuff.”

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