TWO armies lay in their trenches at opposite ends of the battlefield, waiting - their hearts and minds a slurry of emotion. Anticipation, nervousness, fear, courage and uncertainty.
?THERE?S no need to fear, Underdog is here!? (Underdog, 1964)
BEING Leagueies, we love being part of a club. We all join club?s for different reasons. On Sunday I signed up at Wests Ashfield just so I could get in the door.
AS reported, rising St George Illawarra star Ben Creagh has been called into the Australian Tri-Nations squad. The 20-year-old got the call up today after Nathan Hindmarsh failed a fitness test, ruling the Parramatta backrower out for up to four weeks.
THE Wests Tigers Telstra Premiership victory over the North Queensland Cowboys has produced a record breaking finish to a record breaking season.
FORMER Sydney Roosters forward Michael Korkidas, now playing for English Super League club Wakefield, will captain Greece when they take on Malta at Sydney's Fairfax Community Stadium on October 8 (kick-off: 6pm).
BOTH clubs competing in Sunday?s National League One Grand Final have been approved for promotion to Super League in 2006, and go into the game at the Halton Stadium knowing that victory will mean that they will compete in the elite league next season at the expense of Widnes.
PACIFIC Island Rugby League heavyweights Samoa and Tonga will clash in a one off Test Match at Campbelltown Stadium on Friday October 7th.
ST George Illawarra backrower Ben Creagh has been called into the Australian squad after Parramatta's Nathan Hindmarsh was ruled out of the Tri Nations series with a knee injury.
SHOULDER surgery has ruled Wests Tigers duo Benji Marshall and Dene Halatau out of the Tri Nations rugby league series and the World Club Challenge.
IT?S an early call but the 2004 Queensland Cup looks like a ?nine horse race?.
After six rounds it has become apparent Brothers Valleys, Ipswich and Souths Logan are going to do it tough to make the final five.
Ipswich and Brothers Valleys anchor the competition with one point each from their first round draw at Bendigo Bank Oval.
Brothers Valleys have been hard hit with injuries and their immediate goal is to remain competitive.
This Sunday the Blues host the Central Comets at O?Callaghan Park with the Comets one of five clubs sharing fifth spot with six points from a possible 12.
The other clubs on six are Norths, North Queensland, Easts and Tweed Heads.
Ipswich host Tweed on Saturday night and on paper look too good a side to write off just yet.
But the Jets were thrashed 58-6 by North Queensland last weekend and it will be hard to bounce back.
The Young Guns had a glut of possession at Dairy Farmers Stadium, but Ipswich did not look physically capable of mixing it with their opponents.
Souths Logan play Burleigh at Davies Park on Saturday at 3pm. The Magpies have done a lot of work at Davies Park, on and off the field and they hope to put on a good show.
But Burleigh, placed clear fourth on the ladder, will start hot favourites.
Undefeated competition leaders, Redcliffe travel to Toowoomba to play the Clydesdales on Saturday afternoon with Toowoomba?s only defeat coming in round one against Tweed. The Dolphins had to earn last week?s win over the Seagulls in the ABC Television clash and they will expect another tough hit out. The Clydesdales team may suffer a late reshuffle following Friday?s ANZAC Test in Newcastle, with players possibly called up to the Broncos for their Sunday match at Suncorp Stadium against NRL Premiers Penrith.
The Toowoomba ? Redcliffe game shapes as the match of the round and has created a lot of interest on the Darling Downs and in the Lockyer Valley.
The ABC Television match, to be replayed on Fox Sports, is between Easts Tigers and North Queensland at Langlands Park on Saturday with both teams on six points.
But Easts have lost their last two matches while the Young Guns have won their last two by 50 points.
Norths are the hosts for the other match of round seven ? against third placed Wynnum on Sunday at Devils home ground, Bishop Park.
There is no Queensland Cup action next weekend with the QRL?s under 19 and under 17 divisional carnival being staged at Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast.
A Queensland State of Origin Preliminary squad will be named on Tuesday and the players will have an overnight camp on May 2 in Brisbane to commence preparations for this year?s Harvey Norman series.
KIWI captain Ruben Wiki is out of tomorrow night's Anzac league test against Australia after the National Rugby League (NRL) judiciary suspended him last night for five matches.
THE Taranaki Rugby League Development Grade Competition has started with four premier clubs being part of the draw. Waitara, Ngati Ruanui, Western Suburbs and Coastal Rugby League Clubs are participating in this competition that will run through the season to coincide with the Lile Shield Finals Series at the end of July.
THE Rugby Football League has said the investigation into allegations of a betting scandal involving two St Helens players will take as long as necessary.
Sean Long and Martin Gleeson are alleged to have won almost ?1,000 each after betting against their team.
WIGAN chairman Maurice Lindsay is confident Union Treiziste Catalane will be playing Super League rugby in 2006.
The French side were told on Tuesday they must wait until 26 May to find out if their application was successful.