Countdown is on for a super weekend of sport
  • Monday 30 January 2017
Erena Mikaere and Cameron Munster

The final countdown is underway for a super weekend of sport on the Sunshine Coast featuring an NRL trial match between the Melbourne Storm against NZ Warriors at Sunshine Coast Stadium and the Sunshine Coast Lightning's first games at the new USC Sports Stadium.

Storm star Cameron Munster joined Lightning's Erena Mikaere and Tourism, Sports and Events Portfolio Cr Jason O'Pray at Sunshine Coast Stadium today as the first tickets went on sale for the Lightning's double-header against the Southern Steel from NZ.

The netball clashes will be on Friday, February 10 and Sunday, February 12, while the Storm take on the Warriors at the upgraded, 10,000 capacity Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday, February 11.

Tickets for the NRL game are selling strongly and are available at www.sunshinecoast.stadium.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/events.

Spectators will have great views from the new stadium hills while the new LED scoreboard, to be erected later this week, will be in use for the first time.

Tickets to the Lightning v Steel matches went on sale to members at noon today, while non-members will have the chance to purchase tickets from noon on Tuesday. Go to www.sunshinecoastlightning.com.au for more details.

"It's really going to be a massive weekend and one anyone who loves sport will want to be part of," Cr O'Pray said.

"We'll be unveiling two stadium upgrades that take our facilities to a new level and be watching some of the best talent there is in the NRL and netball from both sides of the Tasman."

It will be only the second time the NZ Warriors have visited the Sunshine Coast, while the Storm will be playing here for the second consecutive year. 

The Southern Steel, based in Invercargill, finished the 2016 Trans-Tasman netball league regular season undefeated and will provide a litmus test for Lightning in its final fixtures before the start of the national competition on Saturday, February 18.

“The timing of the Steel matches is massive for our whole program and where we’re currently sitting,” Lightning coach Noeline Taurua said.

“Not only is Steel a side which was successful last year, but it also has a successful history in New Zealand netball.

“It’s a great chance to run through our processes and routines as a team before we take on Firebirds in Round One of the competition.”

Taurua said she was looking forward to “rekindling” friendships with the South Island Club which she coached to the minor premiership in 2016.

“I have a relationship with Steel and I hope this connection between the two clubs is long-term and we can build on this. It’s special for me and I know it’ll be special for Steel too. Invercargill is passionate and community driven just like the Sunshine Coast,” Taurua said.

“To be involved in this festival of sport is ground breaking and I think it’s an incredible opportunity for both netball Clubs,” Taurua said.

Lightning Platinum and Gold members will be treated to a wonderful weekend of netball free of charge (Category 1 and Category 2 seats) while Supporter members receive a 25% discount on ticket prices below.