Tigers embrace QRL's 'Turn to Me' Round
In a sport of gladiators where toughness overshadows weakness, the 'D' word was once a taboo subject.
However in more recent times, the issue of male depression continues to have more light shined upon it as the stigma of mental illness becomes a thing of the past.
Rugby league has had to deal with its fair share of tragedy this season with the passing of some of the game's most talented and loved players.
To tackle the issue of mental health, the QRL are proudly endorsing 'Turn to Me' Round in support of the beyondblue organisation.
The annual event sees the final competition round of each season dedicated towards the Turn to Me concept, which helps reinforce the message of mateship throughout the off-season.
One Intrust Super Cup club that have had to draw on every ounce of their resolve in 2015 has been Brisbane-based outfit, Easts Tigers.
The Melbourne Storm affiliate lost one of its favourite sons in June when halfback Grant Giess passed away unexpectedly following a night out with teammates.
One man who knew Giess well is Tigers coach Craig Ingebrigtsen, who coached the 25-year-old for a number of seasons at various levels of the game.
"It came as a massive shock to me when Grant passed away," Ingebrigtsen told NRL.com.
"He was the heart and soul of this footy club. He was leader – he didn't care if you were a Melbourne Storm full-time player or a part-time player – you got treated the same.
"Out of 30 players in my roster he would have been one of the ones down the bottom of that roster that could've been in this situation."
When tragedy strikes people from all walks of life band together to support each other and the Tigers' mentor says it was no different for his proud club.
"I can't speak highly enough about our club structure after what happened," he said.
"We've really come together as a group and always had a strong bond, but we've got an amazingly strong bond now because of that fact.
"We're working really hard on giving the best we can towards Grant's memory."
Into his third season as Tigers coach having been involved with the club for five years, Ingebrigtsen is a strong advocate of the QRL's Turn to Me initiative.
"It's a great concept and I'm really proud of what the QRL and NRL have put together," he said.
"It's a concept we all need to embrace and make sure we are all aware of what's happening in society today.
"[Grant's death] certainly made me more aware of things outside of football and the pressures of life. It's important for us as stakeholders to really take a good look at that and make sure our welfare component of our business is as secure as it can be.
"I don't want anyone to go through what we've been through this year because it's been horrific."
After a turbulent season off the field, Ingebrigtsen is looking forward to the on-field challenges that lie ahead for his side as the Intrust Super Cup finals series quickly approaches.
It all begins on Sunday afternoon when the Tigers host local rivals Wynnum Manly at Langlands Park with elimination final hosting rights on the line for the winner.
Having safety navigated their way into the top six; the fifth-placed Tigers (32 points, +211) and fourth-placed Seagulls (34 points, +176) are both gunning to claim the all-important home ground advantage in the first weekend of September.
The Tigers are unchanged following their Round 24 win over Redcliffe although prop Foisa Peni and outside back Eddie Tautali could be late additions.
Retiring back-rower David Stagg returns for the Seagulls alongside prop Ben Shea, replacing Brad Mana and the injured Aaron Rockley.
Under the Intrust Super Cup's revised top-six format, teams that finish outside the top two face sudden elimination in the first week of finals, placing further emphasis on playing at home.
The ladder-leading Townsville Blackhawks (41 points) and second-placed PNG Hunters (40 points) will receive a bye in Week One of the finals regardless of which side claims the minor premiership.
Townsville will host Redcliffe this Sunday in Channel Nine's televised match, while the Hunters welcome the Burleigh Bears to Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby.
In other Round 25 fixtures, the Jets can wrap up third spot with a win over the improving Sunshine Coast Falcons at North Ipswich Reserve, wooden spoon recipients Central Queensland Capras travel to Cairns to take on defending premiers Northern Pride, Souths Logan clash with Mackay and Tweed Heads travel up the highway to take on Norths Devils at Nundah's Bishop Park.
For the Tigers, Ingebrigtsen has been stressing the importance of a complete 80-minute performance towards his players when they take on the Seagulls.
"Wynnum are a side who just don't go away – they are such a good club that they hang in there and get you," he said.
"There's a fair bit at stake because we're on a collision course to play each other two weeks in a row and the winner of this weekend's game will get the home semi-final.
"The [home semi-final] is a massive incentive and we'll be trying to be at our best because it's very important and a huge factor in where you go in your season."
There's been very little to split Easts and Wynnum Manly over the years with the Tigers notching 20 wins, 19 losses and one draw against their east Brisbane adversaries.
Both sides met earlier this season with the Seagulls recording an 18-14 win in Round 2 and in a case of déjà vu last year these two teams met to conclude their regular season and in that corresponding game the Seagulls won 18-14.
While it's still early days, Ingebrigtsen says he's love nothing more than to finally break the Tigers' grand final drought having guided them to back-to-back deciders in 2013 and 2014 without success.
"A [grand final] would be great for our organisation considering everything we've been through this year," he said.
"We always talk about 'dare to dream' and it's that time of the year when you can dare to dream.
"Hopefully there's someone looking down on us this week and in the following weeks."