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.
WESTS Panthers displayed a lot of courage but in the end the Burleigh Bears proved too big to contain running out 58-14 winners in the ABC Television clash at Purtell Park. The scores were locked at 4 all following early tries to opposing centres Nick Shaw and Alfred Songoro but the Bears then raced in four further tries to lead 24-4 at half-time. A strong try to young Panthers prop forward Isaac Ah Mau early in the second term and a double to Songoro saw Wests trailing only 36-14 after 60 minutes of the match. Unfortunately fatigue was again a factor for the young Panthers with Burleigh adding four more tries to win comfortably. Big second rower Chris Nahi and Shaw notching doubles for the Bears. Skipper Adam Hayden capped a sparkling display in attack and defence to be named QRL man of the match.
THE Bulldogs have forged an agreement with Newtown, which will establish the Jets as a feeder side for the National Rugby League club.
DUE to the non-availability of several of our usual home game team, we desperately need helpers at Henson Park this Saturday.
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.
RUGGED New Zealand Warriors forward Richard Villasanti will play for the Canterbury Bulls in their Bartercard Cup campaign opener against Taranaki at Rugby League Park on Saturday night.
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.
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).
CLEVER Canterbury Bulldog five-eighth Braith Anasta has to be the one that got away for fellow National Rugby League (NRL) club South Sydney.
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.
RUGBY union convert Sam Harris is in line to make his National Rugby League debut this weekend after being added to the Manly bench for Sunday's game against St George Illawarra.
MELBOURNE winger Matt Geyer is aiming to cement the Storms round one victory over Cronulla by not allowing the Sharks to square the ledger this Saturday at Olympic Park.
MANLY second rower Mark Shipway has been found guilty of a dangerous throw at the National Rugby League judiciary.