THE competition lead keeps changing.
Five weeks ago Redcliffe were on top of the Queensland Cup ladder then Toowoomba assumed the lead followed by Burleigh the next week.
The Clydesdales got the lead back the next week but now Norths sit on top on percentages from Easts, Toowoomba and Burleigh.
Trying to tip the eventual premiers is an almost impossible task and this year?s finals series promises to be the best in Queensland Cup history.
Round 14 kicks off this weekend with Easts hosting the Central Comets at Langlands Park in the ABC televised clash.
The game has been robbed of one of its drawcards, former Test star, Darren Smith who has been recruited by the Broncos in a ?loan? deal with the Tigers covering this weekend and the next.
The Comets are on 12 points, five points outside the top five and they still have finals ambitions.
In the other Saturday clash North Queensland Young Guns host the Redcliffe Dolphins in Cairns and a big crowd is anticipated.
On Sunday Norths host Toowoomba at Bishop Park in what shapes as the match of the round.
At Bendigo Bank Oval Ipswich play Burleigh while at the Piggabeen Complex at West Tweed Heads the two Seagulls ? Tweed and Wynnum ? clash.
The other round 14 match is between Souths Logan and Brothers Valleys and it will be played next Saturday, June 26 at Davies Park with the match to be televised live by the ABC.
On the same day City will play Country at Barcaldine.
The Country team will assemble in Rockhampton next Wednesday and travel to Barcaldine the following day.
The City side will travel to Barcaldine next Friday and attend a sportsmen?s dinner there that night.
Also next Saturday the Queensland Rangers team chosen from the Divisional Carnival in Mackay last weekend will play New South Wales Country at Stan Sercombe Oval, Murwillumbah.
Stan Sercombe Oval is named after one of the NSW Country?s best league administrators and the field would be the envy of many clubs in Brisbane with two grandstands on the western side and terrific amenities.
Next Wednesday night an under 15 Schoolboys ?Test? between New South Wales and Queensland will be played at Kougari Oval with two Arrive Alive Cup secondary school matches as curtain raisers.
The under 15 schools national titles will be played in Adelaide from June 27 to July 2.
The annual Confraternity Shield for independent schools will be held in Townsville from June 28 to July 2 with a number of union playing schools entering sides-among them St Patricks, Shorncliffe whose defence coach is former Brothers? centre, Murray Schultz who played in the 1974 Brisbane grand final.
STATE OF ORIGIN
Result: Queensland 22 d New South Wales 18.
Standings: Series tied at 1-all. Decider to be played in Sydney on July 7.
Results: Easts 30 d Toowoomba 22, Norths 66 d Brothers Valleys 12, Redcliffe 52 d Souths Logan 16, Tweed Heads 28 d Burleigh 26, North Queensland 31 d Wynnum 24, Central 34 d Ipswich 20.
Standings: Norths 18, Easts 18, Toowoomba 18, Burleigh 18, North Queensland 17, Wynnum 17, Redcliffe 16, Tweed Heads 12, Central 12, Ipswich 5, Souths Logan 4, Brothers Valleys 1.
THE Southern Division team to contest the Division Carnival in Mackay over the weekend of the 12th /13th June 2004 has been named.
WITHOUT doubt this is the most attractive round of Queensland Cup football this year.
It all begins on Saturday afternoon with the ABC Televised clash between competition leaders Toowoomba and sixth placed North Queensland at Clive Berghofer Stadium in Toowoomba.
These two clubs are the feeder teams for NRL sides Brisbane and North Queensland Cowboys and the quality of player on show should ensure a good crowd and a fine spectacle.
Toowoomba grabbed first place on the ladder (on 16 points) with a 36-24 defeat of Wynnum at Kougari Oval last Sunday with Redcliffe dropping to third place on percentages from Easts after a surprise loss to the Tigers at Dolphin Oval.
Easts play Norths at Bishop Park in the other Saturday afternoon clash this weekend with Norths on 12 points, the same as North Queensland.
On Saturday night at Browne Park, Rockhampton the Central Comets (10 points) have a crucial match against Wynnum (13) with a loss possibly putting the Comets five points adrift of the top five at the halfway mark of the competition.
There are three matches on Sunday, all at 3.00pm and all shape as even affairs.
The highlight is the Burleigh v Redcliffe clash at Pizzey Park, Miami with Burleigh arguably the competition?s form side while premiers Redcliffe are in a mini form slump. The Dolphins have now suffered three losses in the last 4 weeks to teams in finals contention with two of these defeats inflicted at home.
The Bears after their much publicised slow start to the season are in clear second spot on 15 points with Redcliffe one point behind and equal with Easts.
Last placed Brothers Valleys give themselves a good chance of beating Tweed Heads Seagulls at O?Callaghan Park on Sunday with Tweed not having won since round three.
In the other match Souths Logan Magpies (4) and Ipswich Jets (3) clash at Davies Park with the result too tough to call. After the Jets featured in the previous two finals series, losing the 2002 decider to the Dolphins, they will be keen for a win to spark a more satisfactory finish to this season.
STATE OF ORIGIN
Result: New South Wales 9 d Queensland 8.
Standings: New South Wales leads Queensland 1-0.
Results: Burleigh 24 d Central 18, North Queensland 40 d Brothers Valleys 0, Norths 30 d Ipswich 16, Toowoomba 36 d Wynnum 24, Easts 44 d Redcliffe 24, Souths Logan 38 d Tweed Heads 20.
Standings: Toowoomba 16, Burleigh 15, Redcliffe 14, Easts 14, Wynnum 13, North Queensland 12, Norths 12, Central 10, Tweed Heads 6, Souths Logan 4, Ipswich 3, Brothers Valleys 1.
Results: Wynnum 30 d Redcliffe 28, Easts 86 d Brothers Valleys 0, North Queensland 22 drew Burleigh 22, Norths 60 d Souths Logan 14, Tweed Heads 30 d Central 22, Toowoomba 32 d Ipswich 26.
Standings: Toowoomba 18, Burleigh 18, Wynnum 17, Easts 16, Norths 16, North Queensland 15, Redcliffe 14, Central 10, Tweed Heads 10, Ipswich 5, Souths Logan 4, Brothers Valleys 1.
REDCLIFFE and Toowoomba still sit on top of the Queensland Cup ladder but both clubs were brought back to earth to some degree by results in the last round.
Redcliffe in particular has been forced to do some soul searching during the week after a humiliating 38-22 loss to the Central Comets on Redcliffe?s home turf, Dolphin Oval.
Regulars at the ground said it was one of the Dolphins worst performances in recent memory, and that is not meant to take anything away from the Comets, who may well have come of age with that win.
Toowoomba on the other hand did not play badly in their 22-10 loss to the Burleigh Bears in the curtain-raiser to the big Broncos ? Newcastle NRL clash.
Burleigh were simply superb on the night with desperate defence and good handling the highlights along with a great individual performance from halfback, Brett McConnell who scored two tries.
So Redcliffe (14) remain on top of the Queensland Cup ladder on percentages from Toowoomba with the Dolphins facing another tough assignment at home this Sunday when they host the Easts Tigers, who are coming off a 48-24 defeat of Ipswich.
Easts are in clear fifth spot on 12 points chasing their fourth win in a row.
Toowoomba face a tough trip to Kougari Oval to play Wynnum who are on 13 points, the same total as Burleigh with the Bears earning third spot on percentages.
Wynnum beat Brothers 52-30 last start after cruising to a 30 point lead and the Seagulls will have to be more ruthless against the Clydesdales.
North Queensland, Norths and Central are on 10 points each, just two points outside the five with North Queensland the most likely club to grab two competition points this weekend because they host last placed Brothers Valleys at Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville in a curtain-raiser to the Cowboys ? Panthers NRL clash.
Brothers Valleys showed last week they know how to score a try but their defence was too soft in their own ?red zone?.
North Queensland rattled up 64 points in beating Souths Logan and in front of their home fans they should register another big win, although the Young Guns have lost a number of players to the NRL and the Queensland under 19 side.
Norths play Ipswich at Bendigo Bank Oval on Saturday night and it really is close to the last throw of the dice for the Jets who have just a win and a draw to show from nine starts.
Norths belted Tweed 56-16 last weekend in the ABC televised match and the Devils will be full of confidence.
Central play Burleigh at Pizzey Park, Miami in the week?s ABC clash and this match has plenty of appeal after both teams recorded such impressive wins last weekend.
In the other match the Tweed (six premiership points) can keep within reach of a top five spot with a win over Souths Logan at Piggabeen on Sunday.
Souths Logan (two points) have a better attacking record than the Tweed but the home side?s defence is substantially better.
The first Harvey Norman State of Origin match in Sydney on Wednesday will be the focus of the League world this week, with Queensland and New South Wales also meeting in a colts curtain-raiser.
--SCORES from every A-grade competition in Queensland --