NRL 2023: Fans rush online for tickets to Battle for Brisbane Queensland Team of the Week Round 1

Demand to see Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins has skyrocketed following their historic first victory, putting special focus on ticket sales for the first Battle of Brisbane.

Dolphins merchandise has sailed off the shelves and their games at Kayo Stadium could soon become members only if the team’s popularity surges on the back of a stunning first win.

Such was the reaction to the Dolphins’ upset win over the Roosters on Sunday that $100,000 worth of merchandise – triple the normal price – was sold at the venue and a record-breaking $30,000 was sold online after the game.

Dolphins chief executive Terry Reader said as soon as the last siren sounded, there was a surge in online ticket sales for the Dolphins’ fourth round clash with the Broncos on March 24 at Suncorp Stadium.

A little over 1800 Broncos-Dolphins game tickets were sold in the hours after the Roosters were defeated, and 300 Dolphins memberships were sold that day.

The Dolphins’ first game on Saturday at Redcliffe’s Kayo Stadium against the Raiders sold out for 10,000 just before the team celebrated their epic win.

Tickets for two more games at Kayo Stadium against the Dragons (May 25) and Panthers (July 16) are already in hot demand as Dolphins officials reassure fans that these games will not be moved to a larger stadium despite a looming ticket rush become.

The Dolphins have over 20,000 members and it now seems inevitable that games at Kayo Stadium in future seasons will see their full allocation of 10,000 tickets on the league-loving Peninsula claimed by members before they reach the general public, unless the decision is made to keep something aside for a fresh fanbase.

“The tickets are selling well and so is the merchandise,” Reader said.

“We have a What’s Your Team branch in Redcliffe and they can’t compete. They are out of stock and can’t get any more and they are the largest retailer of NRL stuff in Australia. I know they had the greatest week in their history.

“At the corporate level, we are already sold out for three games at Kayo Stadium. There is a lot of excitement in Brisbane and Redcliffe.

“We will be wearing our 1980 heritage jersey against the Raiders. I couldn’t be more proud of the work people have done.

“The win was really good for us. We don’t get carried away by a win, but the reality was that a lot of people blew us away. We’ve always said we want to have a competitive team and a team to be proud of and I think people saw that yesterday.”

The Suncorp attendance of 32,177 was 62 percent higher than Townsville’s second best attendance of 19,855 for the Cowboys-Raiders game, with the historic gravity of the occasion apparently contributing.

“Last year in the NRL there were only five viewers that got into the 30,000 mark and our viewership for the Broncos game should be higher again.”


Believe it or not, a 73-year-old Wayne Bennett threatened to don the jersey and play for the Dolphins.

It was a playful threat, not to upset Felise Kaufusi but to comfort him.

Kaufusi, the dam-breaking defender who rocked Suncorp Stadium by leading the Dolphins to an historic win over the Roosters in the new club’s first game, spoke about Bennett reassuring him about the club’s early signing challenges.

Kaufusi, the first player to be named to our Team of the Week for the four Queensland teams that won all of their first round games, was also the first player to sign for the Dolphins.

He claims he never worried the Dolphins would find a group of competitive players despite missing many marquee commitments, but Bennett surprised him by lightening the mood.

“I wasn’t worried about who I was playing with,” Kaufusi said.

“It’s pretty funny because I got on the phone with Wayne after signing.

“Obviously no other players came and he said, ‘Man, even if I have to put a sweater on, I’ll help.’ That also gave me confidence. Far.

“He’s too old. He can’t wear a sweater. But it gave me confidence that it doesn’t matter who we have, they will compete.”

Often overshadowed by superstars during his years with the Melbourne Storm, Kaufusi has taken on a leading role at the Dolphins and his fearsome tackle work earned him the Arthur Beetson Medal for best local player.

He softened hooker Brandon Smith like he was a piece of Camembert cheese and landed another big hit with Egan Butcher.

“He (Smith) caught me with a penalty and poked the bear and it was good to give him one back.”

Kaufusi stood over Butcher but admitted, “I was a little smitten.”

“I think my feelings got the better of me. If I had my time again, I wouldn’t be so above him.”

Broncos forwards Payne Haas and Pat Carrigan made outstanding efforts to make their way onto our team, as did dynamic Cowboys Reuben Cotter, who was as good as any of them.

Adam Reynolds’ masterful performance as he steered the Broncos through the Penrith paddock and scored the game-winning field goal allowed him to surpass Cowboys Chad Townsend – who did the same against the Raiders – in our Team of the Week.

Originally posted as NRL 2023, fans are rushing online for Battle for Brisbane tickets NRL 2023: Fans rush online for tickets to Battle for Brisbane Queensland Team of the Week Round 1

Ryan Sederquist

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