RUGBY League returns to its spiritual home, Lang Park (aka Suncorp Stadium) this weekend and the Queensland Cup will be there with the Toowoomba Clydesdales and Burleigh Bears playing the main curtain-raiser to the Broncos ? Knights NRL clash. There is a lot riding on this clash with Toowoomba in fifth spot ? on percentages from ? you guessed it ? Burleigh.
Burleigh are coming off a good win over Easts in last weekend?s ABC televised clash while Toowoomba hope to rebound after a narrow loss to Tweed Seagulls.
The weekend of Queensland Cup action kicks off with the ABC televised clash between Ipswich and Easts at Bendigo Bank Oval at 2pm on Saturday with Ipswich dropping back to third spot courtesy of their loss to Wynnum last weekend.
Easts are experiencing their worst Queensland Cup on record and they will struggle to win at the home of the Jets, but of course there is the ABC match curse ? no home team has won in front of the television cameras this year.
Wests play Norths at 3pm on Saturday at Purtell Park in a battle of two of the code?s traditional Brisbane clubs with Wests chasing their first win and Norths having lost seven in a row, prompting a call to arms from Norths coach, Gary Grienke ? a former Wests coach ? in the Northside press this week.
North Queensland Young Guns will continue their policy of taking games outside Townsville by playing the Central Comets at Moranbah.
This could be considered a home game by both sides with Moranbah playing in a North Queensland competition (Mackay and District) while the town itself is located in Central Queensland.
Both teams are coming off wins and North Queensland are only three points outside the top five. Both sides are feeder clubs for the Cowboys.
On Sunday there are two matches in opposition to the Suncorp Stadium clash ? Souths-Logan host Tweed Seagulls just across the river at Davies Park and from there the fans will be able to hear the roar from Suncorp Stadium.
Tweed will be looking for a win to maintain a share of the competition lead with Wynnum.
Down at Redcliffe in the battle of the bayside the Dolphins host Wynnum Seagulls with premiers, Redcliffe looking to leapfrog Wynnum on the premiership ladder with a home ground win. Both clubs are also leading contenders for the Spotless Services Club Championship.
IN front of an enormous 20,280 screaming fans, the Penrith Panthers have extended their winning streak to seven matches, by defeating the New Zealand Warriors by 34 points to 12. In an awesome display of strength and skill, Penrith gave the Warriors no latitude to play expansive football and took full advantage of the high error rate from the visitors.
THE Parramatta Eels have accounted for the South Sydney Rabbitohs 28-4 at Parramatta Stadium tonight.
THE Wests Tigers have beaten the Bulldogs 20-14 in one of the upsets of year.
FINALLY, my beloved Raiders get a free to air match for the first time since April 2001. That day, I was booked for speeding after we beat the Parramatta Eels at Bruce Stadium. I?d happily cop another fine if the Raiders could get up tonight and put another jinx to rest.
NSW State of Origin coach Phil Gould and captain Andrew Johns have buried the hatchet on The Footy Show.
WIGAN Warriors host Leeds Rhinos at the JJB Stadium this Friday night with an 8pm Kick Off in the Tetley's Super League and Coach Stuart Raper has announced the following line up for the game.
FORMER Broncos captain Gene Miles says Brisbane will need more than the emotion of 48,000 rugby league fans to beat Newcastle at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
MELBOURNE Storm forward David Kidwell is adamant Roosters coach Ricky Stuart will use last year?s 38-point drubbing at the hands of Melbourne as a source of motivation in the build-up to Sunday?s clash at Olympic Park.
FOR New Zealand Warrior Henry Fa'afili, creator of some of the most entertaining post-try celebrations in the National Rugby League (NRL), the time has to be right before he struts his stuff.
THE Vodafone Warriors announced today the club is assisting police investigating an assault complaint against a Warriors? player.
Club management joined police in a meeting with second row forward Logan Swann and his lawyer on Wednesday. Police have since indicated Swann is likely to be summonsed to appear in court next week on a charge of assault.
The police inquiry relates to a late night incident in central Auckland four weeks ago.
Warriors? chief executive officer Mick Watson says Police called Wednesday?s meeting to detail new information about a complaint from a man who says he was assaulted outside a Queen Street bar.
Police have indicated two other men were involved in the alleged assault.
They say no other member of the Warriors? squad was present during the incident.
Mr Watson says the club maintains strict guidelines on player behaviour.
?We treat every incident seriously and have offered police our full co-operation.?
?We launched our own investigation four weeks ago, but late last week police were able to bring forward information that had not been available to us previously.
?We are keen to see this matter resolved but this is very much an issue for the courts. The rights of all parties must be respected.
?We are determined to help in any way we can but are unable to make any further comment until the matter is resolved in the courts.?
THE Canberra Raiders are on track to finish in the top four and secure a coveted home semi final after another grinding win over the Sharks at Toyota Park last night. The Raiders haven?t won at Shark Park in ten years. It wasn?t pretty but it doesn?t need to be. Two points is two points and Raiders coach Matt Elliott conceded as much at the post match press conference. I?m sure any coach in the NRL would have taken last night?s ugly win in preference to a flashy loss.
THE Raiders have achieved a hard fought 20-14 win over the Cronulla Sharks at Toyota Park.
FORMER Brisbane Broncos players are backing a new junior rugby league competition for schools in south east Queensland.