Premier League kicks off a week

The NSWRL Premier League competition will kick off a week ahead of schedule due to a problem with the 2004 draw.

The Balmain Tigers and St Marys-Penrith Cougars will play their opening competition match at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday to make up for an anomaly in the draw in which both sides have been given three byes.

No other side has three byes and hence, the Tigers and Cougars would have been the only sides not to play 24 matches.

A NSWRL statement said, in part: "They will be awarded only four points for the byes, so the two clubs have agreed to play this match to give them 24 matches each ? the same as the rest of the teams in the competition." said.