17 February 2015
More than 6000 spectators are expected to swarm to Queanbeyan's Seiffert Oval on Saturday for the highly-anticipated return of the Canberra Raiders.
The Raiders, who were born out of Seiffert Oval, will be taking in the Newcastle Knights in their final NRL trial match before the 2015 season commences.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has highlighted the importance of the trial by naming a full strength team for the trial match, while Newcastle will also field a team which is likely to be close to their round one squad.
"Queanbeyan is very pleased to welcome the Canberra Raiders back to Seiffert Oval and I am looking forward to seeing a big crowd there on Saturday," Queanbeyan Mayor, Cr Tim Overall said.
"Seiffert Oval was the Raiders' first home and they played their home matches here until 1989 before they moved to the then Bruce Stadium. Back in 1989 the ground record was set here, with 18,273 watching the Raiders and the Brisbane Broncos. Despite playing out of Canberra Stadium, the Raiders still hold a special place in Queanbeyan and we hope they matches such as this become a more regular occurrence in the future."
Seiffert Oval will be sparkling for the return, with Queanbeyan City Council undertaking significant implements at the ground over the past six months. Council, with the assistance of $500,000 from the Federal a Government and a loan subsidy from the State Government, has committed $1.1m towards upgrades of the ground. The Queanbeyan Leagues Club contributed $100,000 towards the replacement of the grandstand seats.
To date work has included the installation of new seats in the grandstand, a new scoreboard, painting, field renovations, new irrigation, new balustrades on the grandstands and renovations to the bathrooms.
Gates open at 2.45pm on Saturday with two preliminary matches on before the main matches. The preliminary matches will see the Raiders under-16s and 18s take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs. The main game will kick off at 6.30pm.
To help get patrons to and from the ground a free shuttle bus will be running before and after the match, ferrying spectators from the carpark at the Queanbeyan Leagues Club and the bus stop near the caravan park on Morisset St to Seiffert Oval. Bus services will run from 4-6.30 and from 8.30-9.30pm. Full catering will be provided, as will a jumping castle.
Tickets are still available and are $10 for adults ($15 at the gate), $10 for NRL club members and $5 for kids. Those planning to purchase tickets at the gate are advised that only cash will be accepted.