THE Canberra Raiders are finally getting some recognition for their good start to the season. Never mind Channel nine not wanting a bar of the Raiders in preference to showing a Souths - Manly game in round seven when the Raiders face the Bulldogs at Canberra Stadium in what is traditionally a very hard fought contest.
NSW selectors met yesterday afternoon to discuss the the 2003 State of Origin series. The NSW squad will be formally announced on Monday 7 April.
BRADFORD'S Odsal Stadium will host this year's Origin match, whilst Wigan, Huddersfield and Hull will stage the autumn's Test Series against Australia.
THE ?grand final rematch? between premiers, Redcliffe Dolphins and Ipswich Jets at Dolphin Oval on Sunday is the undoubted highlight of round four of the Queensland Cup.
Redcliffe were convincing 34 ? 10 winners over the Jets at the same venue last year with the capacity of the ground tested on a perfect spring day.
No one is suggesting this clash will draw a full house but there is sure to be a healthy attendance particularly as Queensland State of Origin legend, Trevor Gillmeister has taken the coaching reins at Ipswich and the side has strengthened considerably in the forwards.
Both teams are undefeated having two wins and a draw to their credit, with Ipswich coming off a big win over the previously undefeated Tweed Seagulls and Redcliffe emerging victorious in a tough clash with Burleigh Bears at Miami.
This is not an easy game to pick, although Redcliffe will start favourites because of their home ground advantage.
The round begins with the Wests Panthers v Burleigh match at Purtell Park, the ABC Televised clash.
Wests will be out to show their thrashing at the hands of Toowoomba last Saturday was a one off, and let?s face it, the Toowoomba side had a touch of NRL and State of Origin experience with Carl Webb scoring four tries.
Burleigh consider themselves under achievers after one draw and two losses from three starts, and they are looking to get back on track against Wests so it still could be another tough day at the office for the Panthers.
North Queensland Young Guns and Toowoomba Clydesdales play the curtain-raiser to Saturday night?s NRL clash in Townsville with the Young Guns having won two and lost one while Toowoomba have won one, drawn one and lost one.
The Young Guns will be looking to get the night off on the right foot and to show the locals the club?s up and comers are just as impressive as the ?baby? Broncos.
In what shapes as a big Saturday night clash in Rockhampton, the Central Comets host competition leaders, Wynnum Seagulls and this match could be the making of the Comets.
They are capable of a win and if they get the points there will be no stopping them.
On Sunday Souths Logan Magpies host Easts Tigers at Davies Park and if the Magpies can maintain intensity for 80 minutes they could have their first win of the year.
The Magpies have led at half-time in all three matches and they obviously have talent even though the side had a less than ideal off-season.
Magpies supporters need to be patient and if they are, there will be good times ahead.
Tweed Seagulls play their first home match at their Piggabeen complex to the west of Tweed Heads and Norths have the tough task of travelling south of the border.
Norths have been hard hit by Melbourne Storm commitments, with players called up to help the NRL club as it struggles with an incredible injury list. But the Devils will not use that as an excuse because their depth is impressive.
It promises to be another exciting weekend in the Queensland Cup.
BRADFORD Bulls have today announced that New Zealand Winger Lesley Vainikolo has signed a new 2-year contract at the club and will stay at Odsal until at least the end of the 2005 season. The contract also includes an option to extend for 2006.
EXPECT further improvements this weekend from Warriors goal kicker PJ Marsh.
THE Jubilee Oval Community Appeal's Red and White Day celebrations planned for the first weekend in April have been postponed.
ALI Lauiti'iti hopes to receive a clearance on Friday to resume training next week.
IN a massive boost for the undefeated Raiders, five eighth Mark McLinden has passed a fitness test and is avialable for selection this weekend.
A group of media stars have banded together under a ticket headed by lawyer Nick Pappas in a bid to wrest control of the South Sydney National Rugby League club board from chairman George Piggins.
SYDNEY Roosters coach Ricky Stuart will consider his front-row options today after losing rookie prop Anthony Tupou for Sunday's National Rugby League match against Cronulla with a broken leg.
PARRAMATTA'S Brian Smith has been re-appointed as Country coach for the third straight year today for rugby league's annual City-Country match.
WITH the momentum growing for the big clash on Friday night, Mitsubishi Electric Bulldogs CEO Steve Mortimer has released the following statement to Bulldogs fans.
PARRAMATTA'S Brian Smith is set to be named as Country Origin coach for the third straight year today for rugby league's annual City-Country match.
THE honour of playing their 50th NRL match against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Ericsson Stadium on Sunday isnt all left wing Francis Meli and utility Wairangi Koopu share.