BREAKING: Titanic date is likely at Marley Brown Oval
RUGBY LEAGUE: NRL lovers, book Sunday, April 8, in your diaries.
Because that is when Marley Brown Oval will host its first-ever NRL match for premiership points between Gold Coast Titans and Manly Sea Eagles from 2pm, announced yesterday.
And for those who are craving to see Central Queensland talent on display, the Capras will do battle against Burleigh Bears, likely at noon.
New Capras chief executive Peter White said while the 2pm slot was set in stone the other times for the lower grade matches were yet to be confirmed.
"Potentially there could be three grades -18s, 20s and A-grade - and we are yet to determine what time frames and who's playing when but we have up to three support games," he said.
This includes the Capras match and two matches after the NRL match.
"I think that any time is going to suit anyone and it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people in Central Queensland to finally have for the first time our very own NRL game," White said.
With a temporary grandstand to be placed, White expects fans to flock to Marley Brown and pack out the precinct.
This may lead to more NRL games at Gladstone's prime sports arena.
"We're trying to do all we can and make sure we get as many people safely and practically in the grounds and we want to make it something that is annual," White said.
"I know the Mayor Matty Burnett has worked very hard to make this happen with the support of Glenn Butcher and the state government.
"We are very grateful and we want to make it an experience that everyone just really enjoys."
Capras coach Kim Williams said the 2018 QRL Intrust Super Cup draw, which was also announced yesterday, could have the Central Queensland club off to a flier.
"I think it's favourable to us to be honest and in the first eight rounds, we have got six home games and we've got two home rounds to start in front of the Browne Park crowd, which is fantastic for us," he said.
To cash in and get more wins than losses in the first two months of the season is crucial, in particular on the back of a poor season in 2017.
Williams said it was also important to get the confidence up to get his team as best prepared as possible ahead of a run of away matches to counter the favourable draw at the start.
"Whenever you are coming off the back of a pretty poor season, you want to start the next one really well," he said.
The coach noted that while the mental lapses could resurface, the first phase of pre-season had been exemplary.
"That will be our main focus, to make sure we are ultra-competitive in those early rounds and wins are important for us and doing it in front of our home crowds is even more important," Williams said.
April 8: NRL 2pm at Marley Brown - Gold Coast Titans v Manly Sea Eagles. QRL noon (likely) - Capras v Burleigh Bears
July 21-22: "Get in the Game" Country Week - Burleigh Bears v Capras - time and venue TBA
Sept 23: QRL grand final at Suncorp Stadium - time and venue TBA