The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The 2005 Queensland Cup is ready to roll and the sides have been named. Below is a quick tip for each game as well as the teams, times and venues. If your in the area be sure to get down and have a look as the Queensland Cup always pumps out great rugby league action.
SATURDAY, March 12 Langlands Park - 3pm
EASTS: Josh Essex, Steve Beattie, Nigel Roy, Rob Maller, Walter Imo, Brandon Costin, Phil Dennis, Dallas Hood, Steve Goodhew, Leigh Coghill, Aaron Kuskey, Marty Allen, Darren Smith. Interchange: Scott Alo, Trevor Exton, Scott Sipple, Matt Lockyer SOUTHS LOGAN: Eddie Dodd, Mehou Phillip, Bob Blair, Josh Jepson, Rick Dodd, Cameron Joyce, Nathan Roe, Darren Glase, Scott Smith, Lyle Kunst, Zeb Dewson, Matt Bell, Marvin Alo. Interchange: Stan Fau, Jim Baira, Pat Dall, Adrian Maloney.
My tip - While Souths-Logan have had good trial form they have lost their three best players and I feel a Tigers side boasting talent such as Costin, Hood, Goodhew and Smith will be far too strong. Tigers by 30.
SUNDAY, March 13 Suncorp Stadium - 11.40am
TOOWOOMBA: Nick Parfitt, Tame Tupou, Greg Eastwood, Scott Minto, Steve Michaels, Stuart Kelly, Berrick Barnes, Mal Liutai, Michael Ryan, Anthony Seibold, Joe Clarke, Neale Wyatt, Derricke Watkins. Interchange: Tony Duggan, Ben Vaeau, Ian Blake, Matt Lowe. NTH QUEENSLAND: Brenton Bowen, Jason Barsley, Wallace Solomona, David Myles, Rory Bromley, Kieran Kerr, Brent McConnell, Mattthew Scott, Shane Muspratt, Jaiman Lowe, Michael Luck, Daniel Strickland, Jacob Lillyman. Interchange: Clint Amos, Sema Mataora, Gavin Cooper, Ben Lowe.
My tip - Match of the round in my mind, both sides have some great talent and this one will be close and is worth heading down to the Broncos verse Cowboys round one NRL match early for sure but I see the Young Guns having the advantage with the experience of Myles, Kerr, McConnell, Muspratt, Luck and Strickland being too much for the Clydesdales. The Young Guns by 8 in Grant Bell's Queensland Cup coaching debut.
SUNDAY, March 13 Browne Park - 2.30pm
CENTRAL: Clint Rothery, John Tamanika, Matt Hill, Dallas Williams, Tui Mckenzie, Jade Wogand, Aoterangi Herangi, Kurt Cawdron, Chris Fleming, Fili Sofa, Todd Brandon, Herewini Rangi, David Nixon. Interchange: Kane Hardy, Andrew Dale, John Bidgood, Toby Wallace. TWEED HEADS: Justin Walker, Jeremy Walters, David Strachan, Graeme Jeffries, Nathan Small, Brad Davis, Paul Rolls, Matt Ross, Matt King, Eddie Harrison, Tom Prichard, Andrew Moroney, Ben Hill. Interchange: Tim Maccan, Cory Bond, Josh Vaughan, James Wood.
My tip - While a lot of "experts" have written the Comets off before round one kick off they have indeed got their strongest squad in history in my mind. The Comets have recruited well and with the class of players like Hill, Rothery, Williams, Herangi, Rangi and Nixon the Comets will be too strong in front of a home crowd on a hot Rockhampton afternoon. Comets by 14.
SUNDAY, March 13 Pizzey Park - 3pm
BURLEIGH: Trent Leis, Trent Purdon, Balin Cupples, Nick Shaw, Aseri Laing, Adam Hayden, Josh McCartney, Ali Brown, Ryan Gundry, Shane O?Flanagan, Martin Griese, Robert Apanui, Kris Flint. Interchange: Travis Simpson, Adam Hutchinson, Wayne Phillis, Reggie Cressbrook. WYNNUM: Daniel Sorbello, Simon Phillips, Jimmy Ahmat, Damien Quinn, Michael Rose, Jace Van Dijk, Paul Green, Grant Wooden, Royce Simms, Craig Greenhill, Gary Winter, Damian Durnford, John Bruce. Interchange: Cameron Durnford, Clayton Maher, Brett McPherson, Darren Bain.
My tip - Wynnum have a big job of them if they are to roll reigning premiers the Burleigh Bears. I expect the additions of Green, Van Dijk and Sorbello to add a bit to Wynnum however I just see the Bears stronger as a team. Expect a big game from former Comet Wayne Phillis off the bench for the Bears. Bears by 18.
SUNDAY, March 13 Bishop Park - 3pm
NORTHS: Quentin Laulu-Togagae, Aaron Morgan, Josh Graham, Greg Inglis, Steve Irwin, Brent Mulholland, Marc Brentnall, Jamie McDonald, Nathan Friend, Antonio Kaufusi, Jeremy Smith, Aaron Bulow, Anthony Boyd. Interchange: Rob Tanielu, Pat Gardner, Scott Anderson, Col Wilkie. REDCLIFFE: Ryan Cullen, Nick Emmett, Greg Bourke, Mark Christensen, Matt Gruszka, Shane Perry, Michael Roberts, Nick Walker, Shannon Fish, Adam Starr, Duane O?Grady, Danny Burke, Daniel Jones. Interchange: Matt Dawson, Nathan Herbener, Clint Frazer, Gerard Parle.
My tip - While the Dolphins have recruited well so have Norths. The Dolphins have picked up Cullen and Bourke in the backs while the Devils have added former North Queensland Cowboy Aaron Morgan and former Brisbane Bronco Steve Irwin. Redcliffe have the experience factor but after some great pre-season preparation I expect to see Norths get up in a tight one. Devils by 4.
Going to be a blockbuster round first up with plenty of questions to be answered. Will seasoned front runners like Burleigh and Redcliffe remain dominant or will we see the emergence of a new force in the Comets or Magpies? Only time will tell.
New to Harko's Bargain Warehouse this week are "Kangaroo Confidential" by Gary Belcher, "King Wally" By Adrian McGregor and a personally signed Canberra Raiders steeden football as well as Raiders and Cowboys signed cards and a special edition Cowboys keyring. So check out Harko's Bargain Warehouse for more and stay tuned for some more great deals in the coming weeks including Comets merchandise.