The Sunshine Coast Falcons will host reigning Intrust Super Cup premiers the Ipswich Jets in a special Anzac weekend game at the picturesque Stafford Park in Hervey Bay in Round 8 this season.
This landmark event will be the first time the QRL has taken a Cup game to the popular seaside township which is the gateway to Fraser Island and located only three-and-a-half hours from Brisbane.
The credit for this even can be shared between well-respected Sunshine Coast Falcons incoming coach Craig Ingebrigtsen and son Tye who is now the fulltime Development Officer for the Hervey Bay Seagulls (pictured below).
Both have a passion for grassroots level rugby league and believe that bringing a Cup game to a regional area will not only see the locals come out in force, but will bring in much-needed funds as the town relies heavily on tourism to survive.
“You can’t put a price on this sort of exposure mate,” Tye Ingebrigtsen junior said.
“Both the Falcons and Jets need a standing ovation for making this happen.
“Our local businesses and community will definitely benefit from the incoming revenue we make from the event and I know that both teams will enjoy the hospitality the Hervey Bay region has to offer.”
The prospect of bringing this important game to Hervey Bay has Tye Ingebrigtsen champing at the bit.
“This is massive for the area. Dad and I thought it would be good exposure not only for the Intrust Super Cup, but also for the people of Hervey Bay.”
The game will coincide with the Anzac Day long weekend and will be part of a bumper day of rugby league; which will include various Melbourne Storm and Broncos players lining up.
This sort of event does not happen without the work of other notable personnel. Falcons and Jets CEOs Chris Flannery and Wayne Wendt have been working hard behind the scenes to make this happen, as have Brendan Jackson and David Yarrow.
“Without the support of all involved this game would not have gone ahead,” Tye Ingebrigtsen said.
“Dad and I wanted to showcase this event and moving the game up to Hervey Bay seemed the logical thing to do considering we estimate that up to 5000 spectators are to make the pilgrimage for the weekend.”
In what can be described only as one of the most tantalising games of the year, Craig Ingebrigtsen’s men will be on a mission to outgun the most dangerous team in the Cup in the Ipswich team led by the heralded coaching duo Ben and Shane Walker.
The former Easts Tigers coach and now Melbourne Storm Under 20 development officer has the ability to take his charges all the way if his previous coaching record has anything to go by.
The co-coaches of the Ipswich Jets need no introduction. Their astonishing success in 2015 is mind boggling. The Cup champions went to take on the NRL State Championship on NRL grand final day, one can only scratch their head as to what unorthodox game plan they have installed come April 23.
With the QRL having previous success in staging other regional games including matches at Stradbroke Island and Cherbourg, this will not only lay the platform for other teams considering taking their home games too the outer reaches, but also showcase the incredible competition.
So if you’re looking to take a road trip with the works; pack the sunscreen, surfboards and boardies, because Hervey Bay has now landed on the rugby league big stage.