ST George Illawarra Dragons have once again been instrumental in promoting international Rugby League.
AFTER four rounds of the 2003 Queensland Cup, new team Tweed Heads Seagulls are clear third on the premiership ladder and they must be considered semi-final chances.
Before the premiership kicked off most people predicted a mid-table finish at best for Tweed and even some Seagulls officials claimed to be flattered at those assessments.
But this team, under the coaching of Peter Crannage, has to be more than respected ? feared might be the word.
Seagulls are used to success in the Gold Coast Group 18 competition and they are not about to be failures in this Queensland statewide competition.
This Saturday they feature in their first ABC televised clash when they meet premiers, Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval.
Many people on the Tweed and Gold Coast receive New South Wales and Queensland ABC telecasts, and you can bet most league followers will be tuned in to the Queensland version.
Redcliffe are second on the premiership ladder, one point behind bayside rivals, Wynnum Seagulls who are also leading the club championship thanks to the effort of their A grade and colts teams in the Mixwell Cup.
Wynnum hosts Norths Devils at Kougari Oval on Sunday with Norths coming off a 16-4 loss to Tweed.
Norths share sixth spot with Easts Tigers and North Queensland Young Guns on four points.
Easts host the Central Comets at Langlands Park on Saturday with the Comets chasing their second win of the season.
With a fanatical home town following Central had hoped to win both their home matches in the first four rounds, but alas, this was not to be.
The Young Guns play Burleigh Bears at Pizzey Park, Miami on Saturday night and this promises to be a quality match.
In the other Saturday night clash Ipswich Jets play Wests Panthers at Bendigo Bank Oval.
The Jets put it to Redcliffe last Sunday and the final scoreline did not tell the story of what a tough game of football it was, and Ipswich could easily have left the peninsula with the two points.
On Sunday at ANZ Stadium Toowoomba Clydesdales play Souths Logan Magpies in the main curtain-raiser to the NRL clash between Brisbane Broncos and New Zealand Warriors.
Broncos contracted player, Scott Prince will make his comeback from injury for feeder team Toowoomba, who should win this match easily.
Fourth placed Toowoomba has the best attack in the competition, but its defence is inferior to eight other teams.
THE final plank in the restructure of the New South Wales Rugby League will be put into place this weekend when the NSWRL Premier League gets underway.
THE Bulldogs have forged an agreement with Newtown, which will establish the Jets as a feeder side for the National Rugby League club.
AT LAST THE WAITING IS OVER!
MOUNT Albert and Hibiscus Coast will be strong, the Central Falcons and Taranaki weak when the national domestic competition kicks off this weekend, but between the two extremes there should be a levelling-out of abilities.
BARTERCARD Cup: It keeps getting better! The same teams are back, the format remains and the standard just keeps getting better. Season four of the Bartercard Cup kicks-off on the 12th of April 2003 with the Grand Final set for the weekend of the 12th 14th of September at Ericsson Stadium.
THE Knights have done it tough to beat the Bulldogs 12-6 with brilliant defence.
WE have been reliably informed that the Phantom Siren is set to strike ten seconds before half time in the match between St George Illawarra and Manly this Sunday at WIN Stadium.
BULLDOGS lock Travis Norton has been ruled out of tonight's National Rugby League blockbuster against Newcastle with a knee injury.
DURING the week, Waratahs' coach Bob Dwyer said he would talk to Dragons coach Nathan Brown about Nathan Blacklock's NSWRU contract - but not before the Super 12s Rugby Union competition is done with.
MELBOURNE Storm skipper Stephen Kearney is looking forward to a return to night football in an attempt to overcome a desperate Sharks side this Saturday night at Olympic Park (7.30pm).
BIG Australian Mark Tookey fits snugly into his jersey, his Mini and the hearts of Warriors fans. The 110kg prop, who today plays his 50th game for the Warriors, thinks he knows why the crowds have warmed to him.
THE Sydney Roosters have crushed the North Queensland Cowboys on their home turf, running out winners 32-0.
CROCKED Brisbane duo Ben Ikin and Brad Meyers will be given until today to prove their fitness to face the New Zealand Warriors in Sunday's National Rugby League (NRL) clash at ANZ Stadium.