As the football grand finals approach, fans and players turned out for the customary breakfast and street parade today.

And while the Lions are not in the running this year, they were celebrating the 10th anniversary of their historic first Premiership.

Sam Canavan reports.


The traditional NRL Grand Final breakfast this morning was the last chance for the teams to rub shoulders before Sunday’s game.

Manly stars Anthony Watmough and Tony Williams were absent with colds, but they’re in no doubt for the sell-out stoush.

The Warriors have been buoyed by the support they’ve received across the ditch.

Simon Mannering, NZ Warriors captain: “Plenty of people are getting behind us with how far we’ve come so far and, I guess that’s just New Zealand, they love a winner and you know, they’re getting behind us at the right time of year.”

The Sea Eagles are overwhelming favourites, and the the 2008 Premiers are confident because of their big-game experience.

Jamie Lyon, Manly Captain: “I suppose it helps a little bit, being involved with the big build-up and everything that comes with it, yeah I suppose it’s a little bit of an advantage.”

In Melbourne, both Collingwood and Geelong are sweating on the fitness of key players before Saturday’s Grand Final at the MCG.

Steve Johnson and Darren Jolly are in doubt for the Premiership decider, with both adamant they won’t play if underdone.

Parochial fans lined the streets for the time-honoured parade.

Pies fans desperate to see back to back wins.

Today also heralded a decade since the Brisbane Lions won their maiden flag.

It was the first time the cup had travelled north outside an Australian Rules stronghold and the secret to their success was composure.

Robert Copeland, Ex-Lions Premiership player: “The biggest thing we were told by Leigh Matthews was obviously there’s a lot more build-up and a lot more people, but it’s just another game.”

This Saturday all Lions fans will recall that feeling of excitement that comes with your team being a part of the ‘big one’ and they’ll be hoping they get the chance to experience that again sometime very soon.

Sam Canavan, QUT News.