RUGBY League returns to its spiritual home, Lang Park (aka Suncorp Stadium) this weekend and the Queensland Cup will be there with the Toowoomba Clydesdales and Burleigh Bears playing the main curtain-raiser to the Broncos ? Knights NRL clash. There is a lot riding on this clash with Toowoomba in fifth spot ? on percentages from ? you guessed it ? Burleigh.
Burleigh are coming off a good win over Easts in last weekend?s ABC televised clash while Toowoomba hope to rebound after a narrow loss to Tweed Seagulls.
The weekend of Queensland Cup action kicks off with the ABC televised clash between Ipswich and Easts at Bendigo Bank Oval at 2pm on Saturday with Ipswich dropping back to third spot courtesy of their loss to Wynnum last weekend.
Easts are experiencing their worst Queensland Cup on record and they will struggle to win at the home of the Jets, but of course there is the ABC match curse ? no home team has won in front of the television cameras this year.
Wests play Norths at 3pm on Saturday at Purtell Park in a battle of two of the code?s traditional Brisbane clubs with Wests chasing their first win and Norths having lost seven in a row, prompting a call to arms from Norths coach, Gary Grienke ? a former Wests coach ? in the Northside press this week.
North Queensland Young Guns will continue their policy of taking games outside Townsville by playing the Central Comets at Moranbah.
This could be considered a home game by both sides with Moranbah playing in a North Queensland competition (Mackay and District) while the town itself is located in Central Queensland.
Both teams are coming off wins and North Queensland are only three points outside the top five. Both sides are feeder clubs for the Cowboys.
On Sunday there are two matches in opposition to the Suncorp Stadium clash ? Souths-Logan host Tweed Seagulls just across the river at Davies Park and from there the fans will be able to hear the roar from Suncorp Stadium.
Tweed will be looking for a win to maintain a share of the competition lead with Wynnum.
Down at Redcliffe in the battle of the bayside the Dolphins host Wynnum Seagulls with premiers, Redcliffe looking to leapfrog Wynnum on the premiership ladder with a home ground win. Both clubs are also leading contenders for the Spotless Services Club Championship.
FINALLY, my beloved Raiders get a free to air match for the first time since April 2001. That day, I was booked for speeding after we beat the Parramatta Eels at Bruce Stadium. I?d happily cop another fine if the Raiders could get up tonight and put another jinx to rest.
NSW State of Origin coach Phil Gould and captain Andrew Johns have buried the hatchet on The Footy Show.
WIGAN Warriors host Leeds Rhinos at the JJB Stadium this Friday night with an 8pm Kick Off in the Tetley's Super League and Coach Stuart Raper has announced the following line up for the game.
FORMER Broncos captain Gene Miles says Brisbane will need more than the emotion of 48,000 rugby league fans to beat Newcastle at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
MELBOURNE Storm forward David Kidwell is adamant Roosters coach Ricky Stuart will use last year?s 38-point drubbing at the hands of Melbourne as a source of motivation in the build-up to Sunday?s clash at Olympic Park.
THE Canberra Raiders are on track to finish in the top four and secure a coveted home semi final after another grinding win over the Sharks at Toyota Park last night. The Raiders haven?t won at Shark Park in ten years. It wasn?t pretty but it doesn?t need to be. Two points is two points and Raiders coach Matt Elliott conceded as much at the post match press conference. I?m sure any coach in the NRL would have taken last night?s ugly win in preference to a flashy loss.
THE Raiders have achieved a hard fought 20-14 win over the Cronulla Sharks at Toyota Park.
FORMER Brisbane Broncos players are backing a new junior rugby league competition for schools in south east Queensland.
TRY-SCORING sensation Billy Slater is confident he'll be fit to play for the Melbourne Storm against the Sydney Roosters in their National Rugby League match at Olympic Park on Sunday.
PENRITH fullback Rhys Wesser has re-signed with the National Rugby League club for another three years.
NEW Zealand international centre Willie Talau has become the first casualty of the Bulldogs' salary cap cheating, with the National Rugby League club resigned to losing him.
THE Canberra Raiders will be chasing their first victory at Toyota Park in ten years when they meet Cronulla in tonight's National Rugby League clash.
CRONULLA captain Brett Kimmorley has warned the Sharks their stirring win over Newcastle will mean nothing if they lose tonight's crucial NRL clash with Canberra at Toyota Park.