MANY Rugby League (R.L.) fans will probably be at least vaguely familiar with the story of the game's origins: in 1895 at a meeting at the George Hotel in Huddersfield, 22 clubs broke away from the Rugby Football Union (R.F.U.) over arguments about 'broken-time' payments and formed the Northern Rugby Football Union (N.U.); similar arguments in Australia led to the formation of the New South Wales Rugby League (N.S.W.R.L.) in 1907; over the subsequent decades, changes to the laws of the game, enacted by the N.U. and the N.S.W.R.L. evolved a distinctive form of rugby football, known throughout the world from 1922 by its Australian title: Rugby League. However, possibly fewer fans will be aware of precisely why the broken-time debate could not be resolved, or why the breakaway bodies felt compelled to change the laws of the game to such an extent. In Rugby's Great Split, Tony Collins (currently, the official R.L. archivist) provides answers to these questions which should be of interest to R.L. supporters throughout the world.
QUEENSLAND fullback Darren Lockyer has failed to complete today's training session on the Gold Coast.
QUEENSLAND halves Shaun Berrigan and Ben Ikin want to redeem themselves after sharing the bulk of the blame for the opening State of Origin loss.
NEW South Wales skipper Andrew Johns says he's ready to better his sterling performance in State of Origin I and wrap up the series against Queensland next Wednesday night at Telstra Stadium.
THE two Seagulls teams remain on top of the Queensland Cup ladder after 13 rounds with Tweed in most danger of being toppled this weekend.
Wynnum Seagulls kick off the weekend with the ABC televised clash against Central Comets at Kougari Oval and Wynnum should win against a team that has won just four times in 13 starts this season.
Admittedly one of those wins was against Tweed Seagulls at their citadel at Piggabeen, but it is hard to imagine a repeat performance this weekend.
Central are coming off a one point loss to Norths in Rockhampton with Norths Kiwi halfback, Marty Turner proving the difference with a field goal.
Norths play Tweed in a ?Big Sunday? of football this weekend and a top crowd should be on hand at Bishop Park particularly as the Broncos have a bye.
Also on Sunday Ipswich host Redcliffe at Bendigo Bank Oval, the 2002 grand finalists coming together for what should be a torrid match particularly as both sides have lost their last two clashes.
In the other Sunday match Burleigh Bears play Wests at Pizzey Park, Miami with Wests chasing their first win of the season.
If Burleigh win as expected it will take them to 19 points, putting them ahead of either Redcliffe or Ipswich who also go into this round on 17 points.
We have not forgotten about the other two Saturday matches. The first is at Langlands Park at 3pm between the Easts Tigers and Souths Logan Magpies and Easts (12) should keep in touch with the top five by toppling the Magpies.
At 6pm at Stadium Toowoomba the Clydesdales play the North Queensland Young Guns in what shapes as the best match of the weekend.
Toowoomba are in clear second place on 19 points, one behind Wynnum and Tweed Heads.
North Queensland are seventh, three points outside the top five, but they have a terrific for and against and except for bad luck would be much higher up the ladder.
Best wishes to the XXXX Queensland State of Origin team as they try to square the series in Sydney on Wednesday night.
The curtain-raiser is the inter-state under 17 clash and our young Maroons will be looking to gain revenge for last year?s loss at this level.
Also on Wednesday the Queensland under 15 Schoolboys side will play NSW at Moree.
Next Thursday an Australian Rugby League Board meeting will be held in Sydney. Keep an eye out in next Friday?s edition of The Courier-Mail for details of the meeting.
Don?t forget Radio TAB (1008 on the dial) has regular league segments, including those devoted to the Queensland Cup, on Mark Forbes? Breakfast Show between 6am and 8.30am Monday to Friday.
Former Wests and Redcliffe forward, Rob ?Bertie? Campbell looks after the Queensland Cup while The Courier-Mail?s Steve Ricketts has a segment on Wednesday and Friday at 7.10am.
THE NSWRL Premier League hots up again this weekend with some very interesting games.
ROUND 9 of New Zealand's Bartercard Cup will have some of the fans on the edge of their seats as some very close battles are likely to take place.
IN this week's Bulls Eye, coach Brian Noble, Robbie Paul, and Paul Deacon look forward to Saturday's Round 15 Tetley's Super League clash at Odsal when third placed Wigan Warriors take on second placed Bradford Bulls in another classic Odsal encounter.
WIGAN Warriors Coach Stuart Raper has announced the following line-up for Saturday evening's Tetley's Super League clash away to the Bradford Bulls, 6pm kick-off.
ROUND 15 is upon us and as the mercury starts to plummet, the action on the field is starting to hot up with the competition providing some of the closest results on record. Last weekend there were no major blowouts and five of the seven games played were decided by four points or less in what has easily been the best competition since 1998, the NRL?s inaugural year.
A confident and solid performance by the Panthers side saw them defeat the visiting Newcastle side by 34 - 6 at the foot of the Blue Mountains.
BRADFORD Bulls are pleased to announce that their latest pre-match entertainment extravaganza will feature a Grease theme, plus a special appearance from the multi-award winning Yorkshire Building Society Concert Brass Band.
THE National Rugby League would welcome a Sydney club relocating to a region such as the Gold Coast.
MELBOURNE Storm winger Marcus Bai will establish a landmark for club and country when he celebrates his 150th first grade match against the Bulldogs this Sunday at Olympic Park.
THOSE basketball skills New Zealand Warriors rugby league player Sione Faumuina uses on the field didn't come without practice.