LADIES and gentlemen. We have a top five and they will take some displacing. That?s a big statement after only nine rounds ? not quite halfway into the competition ? but which team from the current top five is going to fall over before the semi-finals. Not competition leaders and 2002 grand finalists Ipswich you would think. And the two Seagulls, Wynnum and Tweed, only one point behind on 14 points are displaying a consistency of skill and purpose which suggests they will be there when the whips are cracking.
Toowoomba share fourth spot with premiers, Redcliffe on 13 points and with the talent available to Toowoomba through their association with the Broncos it is hard to imagine them dropping off the pace.
That leaves Redcliffe and it is true they have dropped back to the field somewhat and they could be vulnerable. The Dolphins provided a host of players to the Brisbane representative side which defeated Sydney 48-24 on Wednesday night, and they are sure to provide a big contingent for the City ? Country match on July 5 and that could knock them around a bit.
Similarly Toowoomba will be hit hard at State of Origin time with players called up to the NRL because the Broncos provide so many players to the Queensland cause.
So which clubs outside the five can gate-crash the party?
Certainly not Wests and Souths Logan who are on the bottom of the ladder, with Souths Logan achieving their first win of the season last week ? against the Panthers.
And you would have to say Norths and Central face too big a task with both clubs on four points, nine adrift of the five.
That leaves just Burleigh, Easts and North Queensland.
Burleigh (11) have the biggest injury list in the club?s history and they will do it tough, but they do have depth as evidenced by the performance of their A grade and Colts teams in the South East Division?s Mixwell Cup.
Easts (10) are in the reckoning, but their performance against Toowoomba last weekend when they were beaten 56-26 suggests they will be there to make up the numbers if they reach the finals.
North Queensland are only on eight points, but strangely they shape as the team most likely to challenge for the title if they happen to make the finals.
Rarely, if ever, has a team been on the receiving end of so many narrow losses and the Young Guns are due for a change of luck, maybe starting with Saturday?s match against Souths Logan at Davies Park.
But Souths Logan, led by Papua New Guinea international, Bruce Mamando, cannot be underestimated and they are capable of an upset.
The weekend kicks off with the ABC televised clash between Easts and Burleigh at Langlands Park, with both sides coming off a loss.
In the other Saturday match Central host Wests at Browne Park, Rockhampton under floodlights.
On Sunday there are three 3pm matches.
At Kougari Oval Wynnum host Ipswich in what shapes as the match of the round.
But almost as attractive is the Tweed Heads v Toowoomba match at Piggabeen. And the other match ? between Redcliffe and Norths at Dolphin Oval ? isn?t half bad either.
So enjoy your weekend of football and those supporting teams in the bottom half of the ladder ? get out there and try to get your lads into the top flight.
ROUND 7 of the Premier League competition seems to have rolled around very quickly.
SOME interesting match ups yet again in Round 6 of New Zealand's Barter Cup competition. Some predictable results maybe, but then the joy of a competition is the upsets.
FRIDAY night's game between top of the table Leeds Rhino's and Bradford looks set to be the match of the round, if not the match of the season.
Officials at the Bulls home ground of Odsal Stadium have done their homework and exstended the seating in anticipation of a huge crowd to witness this West Yorkshire derby.
WIGAN Warriors have been forced to make one change in the squad for Friday's home Super League clash with Halifax at the JJB Stadium, 8pm Kick Off.
TEAM News - Round 11:
IN this the second Bulls Eye of the week, second row forward, Jamie Peacock and centre Scott Naylor look ahead to the biggest game Super League as first place Leeds Rhinos travel to second places Bradford Bulls with top spot on offer as first prize at Friday's clash at Odsal Stadium.
HULL Kingston Rovers have finally got their man after unveiling 26yr old Papua New Guinean international forward Makali Aizue as the clubs latest signing.
THREE players have been dropped and another seven positional changes have been made to London Broncos team ahead of Sunday's game with Wakefield.
CANBERRA coach Matt Elliott is pleased to have Ruben Wiki in his side to take on the New Zealand Warriors in tonight's National Rugby League clash in Wellington. And why wouldn't he be?
MELBOURNE Storm has made headway this week with several players coming out of contract after centre Steven Bell re-signed today in a move that will keep him at Melbourne until the end of 2005.
A wet and soggy Wellington greeted the players with the Raiders, the home side, keeping the Warriors winless in windy city defeating them by 18-10.
THE North Queensland Cowboys have proven themselves to worthy away winners by outclassing the Manly Sea Eagles 31-20 at Brookvale Oval this evening.
THE Cronulla Sharks have beaten the Newcaslte Knights 30-24 in sensational circumstances this evening.
FRIDAY Night Football saw the Video Referee make two big calls in two big games. One was right; the other left a lot to be desired.