SELECTING a halves partner for Stacey Jones is Kiwis' coach Daniel Anderson's biggest dilemma ahead of the trans-Tasman test, while his Australian counterpart admits filling the berth is one of the few conundrums facing Kangaroos' selectors.
THE Queensland Cup?s ?Super Six? have a chance to consolidate their positions on the top half of the premiership ladder when they play bottom ranked sides this weekend.
Competition leaders, Wynnum Seagulls play Easts at Kougari Oval in Saturday?s ABC televised clash with Easts officials admitting they are already looking to next year.
Easts? big loss to Norths last weekend kept them on 14 points, six points behind the sixth placed Tweed Seagulls.
Tweed play bottom side Wests at Piggabeen on Sunday and the boys from south of the border should record a big win.
Burleigh, Toowoomba and Ipswich share second spot on the premiership ladder on 23 points, two behind Wynnum.
Burleigh face a tough task against Central Comets in Rockhampton on Saturday night and Toowoomba will not have things all their own way against Norths Devils at Bishop Park on Sunday.
But Ipswich Jets should record a comfortable win over Souths Logan Magpies at Davies Park on Sunday so the pressure is on Burleigh and Toowoomba.
Toowoomba and Norths are the feeder clubs for NRL outfits Brisbane and Melbourne respectively who play in Melbourne on the same day.
If either club can win both ?grades? it will be great cause for celebration.
Fifth placed Redcliffe (21) will also not have things easy against the North Queensland Young Guns in Townsville on Saturday night in the curtain-raiser to the Cowboys ? St George Illawarra clash.
A loss here by Redcliffe and a win to the Tweed would see the Seagulls leapfrog the Dolphins into fifth spot.
If the ?Super Six? all record wins the gap between the top six and bottom six will grow even wider and we may not be able to talk about sides having a ?mathematical chance? of making the finals. Not while keeping a straight face anyway.
ROUND 15 kicks off at Energy Australia stadium. Newcastle managed to produce the upset of Round 14 which will give them plenty of confidence when they return home to face the Cougars. St Marys-Penrith find themselves in trouble of falling back to the pack after last weeks loss so a spirited performance will be needed to keep their season on track.
ROUND 12 of New Zealand's Bartercard Cup gets underway this weekend with a few tough matches to call. With only 5 rounds of the competition left, spots are still up for grabs.
TONY Martin will return earlier than expected to play in Friday night's clash with Wigan at Griffin Park.
IN Bulls Eye this week, Brian Noble and Lesley Vainikolo look ahead to Sunday's Tetley's Super League Round 19 game at Odsal when the Vikings travel across the Pennines to take on the Bulls.
SOUTH Sydney signed prop Dallas Rennie from the New Zealand Warriors for the next two National Rugby League seasons on Friday.
ORIGIN is now behind us and we now focus our attention upon the remaining rounds and the lead up to the semi finals and what better way to start than two of the most powerful sides in the NRL. Penrith travel to Newcastle as they attempt to maintain their hold on first place in the NRL but this will be no easy task considering the depth of talent the Knights have on tap. In Penrith's favour, several Knights players will be backing up from Origin III and fatigue may take its toll. I'm tipping the Panthers because I think they deserve to be where they are and the Knights without Kennedy lack the punch to drive home the advantage Marathon brings. Panthers by 16.
THE Penrith Panthers have traveled to Newcastle defeating the Knights 29-16 to keep their impressive season on track.
WIGAN Warriors Coach Stuart Raper has announced the following line-up for Friday's Tetley's Super League clash away to the London Broncos at 8pm -
MELBOURNE Storm and Queensland hooker Cameron Smith is still on cloud nine following his dazzling State of Origin debut last night for Queensland at Suncorp Stadium.
NEWCASTLE is sweating on its Origin quartet backing up for tonight's National Rugby League clash with competition leaders Penrith at EnergyAustralia Stadium.
THE Bulldogs have confirmed one of the worst kept secrets in rugby league - the signings of centres Jamaal Lolesi and Willie Tonga to two-year deals.
INTERNATIONAL prop Jason Ryles will join the growing list of season casualties following news that he has suffered damage to nerves and the rotator cuff in his left shoulder.
MELBOURNE Storm reaches a major milestone in its short existence this Sunday afternoon when the 1999 premiers host the Brisbane Broncos at Olympic Park (2.30pm) in the team?s 150th National Rugby League game.