NRL Grand Final 2021: Johnathan Thurston Welcome to Country, Australian National anthem


Former North Queensland Cowboys star Johnathan Thurston was involved in an awkward moment ahead of Sunday’s NRL Grand Final.

Queensland legend Johnathan Thurston was involved in an awkward moment before kick-off in the NRL Grand Final, with viewers suggesting his speech acknowledging the traditional owners of the land appeared to be abruptly cut off by the venue’s speakers.

The North Queensland Cowboys legend was given the responsibility of welcoming the players and fans to Yuggera Country ahead of Brisbane’s first-ever NRL Grand Final.

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Minutes before kick-off at Suncorp Stadium, Thurston was addressing the 30,000 spectators when the instrumental opening of the Australian National Anthem started blaring around the stadium.

Australian pop phenom Kate Miller-Heidke, who was preparing to sing Advance Australia Fair, appeared to be caught off guard by the music starting when it did, but regardless nailed the performance.

Rugby league fans were left bemused by the incident, many considering it to be incredibly disrespectful to Thurston.

Meanwhile, the pre-match entertainment featured the very best and very worst of Australian music, with footy fans perplexed by some of the choices.

Ahead of the highly-anticipated clash between the Penrith Panthers and South Sydney Rabbitohs, spectators at Suncorp Stadium witnessed a 20-minute musical performance featuring hit songs from the 1980s right through to today.

Globetrotting DJs the Stafford Brothers and instrumentalist Timmy Trumpet then performed a collection of synth-heavy pop hits, packed with energy and throbbing basses.

However, the electronic beats admittedly seemed more suited for a 15-year-old’s birthday party rather than the NRL Grand Final.

Needless to say, not everyone loved their performance.

Immediately after, Indigenous dance troupe Nunukul Yuggera hit the stage with a gorgeous performance before the main attraction arrived a few minutes later.

You can follow all the action from the NRL Grand Final in our live blog.

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