THIS week we?ve got it all! At the halfway mark of the competition there were several stirring performances from individuals over the weekend and a few were unlucky to miss out. All teams were out doing their best to improve or consolidate their positions on the ladder and as a result the Round 13 League Unlimited Team of the Week will run down the tunnel, burst onto the park foaming from their frontal orifices, giving those pretty ladies holding pom-poms a wink as they go by?
MELBOURNE Storm has signed a new three year with deal with its star centre Matt King. King has become one of the NRL's hottest properties, and his new deal will see him stay in Melbourne with Melbourne Storm until at least the end of 2008.
ARMTOUR (Athletes as Role Models tour) and the Melbourne Storm will be making the dreams of 15 children come true this week (Tuesday) when they make the trip from the community of Yirrkala (600km east of Cairns) in North-East Arnhem Land to Melbourne where they will meet and have fun with their Melbourne Storm heroes.
MELBOURNE Storm stars Billy Slater and Cameron Smith have once again been selected to represent Queensland in State-Of-Origin Two, as has Matt King for New South Wales for the clash at Telstra Stadium on June 15.
PARRAMATTA coach Brian Smith is praying winger Eric Grothe won't be playing for anyone but the Eels next season.
THE Gold Coast would field an impressive backline when it debuts in 2007 if it signed the players linked to the NRL's newest club.
THE NRL will issue a breach notice to the Sydney Roosters over comments made by coach Ricky Stuart in a newspaper column yesterday.
THE Michael Monaghan drama will take an unexpected and dramatic twist with Manly poised to offer the spurned halfback a three-year contract during a secret meeting.
BULLDOGS star Sonny Bill Williams will undergo surgery this week regardless of the outcome of scans on a damaged right knee which could sideline him for two months.
NEW Zealand Warriors coach Tony Kemp says he is fed up with players in the NRL staying down after being tackled in the hope of winning a penalty.
BARLA Great Britain Lions Manager Neil Baxter has announced the squad numbers for the tour of Australia.
A crunch match is in store as Dublin City Exiles take on unbeaten Clontarf at Terenure next Saturday. With only one win in their opening three games, any further slip ups from the champions could seriously damage their play-off ambitions. Having beaten the Exiles last week, Kildare Dragons look to make it three wins on the trot when they visit East Coast Eagles.
SOUTH London Storm got their historic tour of Australia's Sunshine Coast underway on Thursday evening with a 48-30 defeat against Beerwah Bulldogs, despite fielding a side that included ex-Queensland Origin stars Kerrod Walters, Dale Shearer and Adrian Brunker.
The Storm are guests of the E-Banc Foundation and have been kept busy during their stay on the Sunshine Coast by their hosts at various charitable functions in aid of Leukemia and the Australian Paralympic team, but they finally got their first hit-out against Australian opposition in front of a sizeable crowd in the small bush town of Beerwah.
The Croydon-based club travelled to Australia without the bulk of their National League Three players but, thanks in part to their trio of former Origin players, still gave a good account of themselves. Man-of-the-match Aaron Russell and Shearer both grabbed a brace of tries each and former London Broncos Academy player Dave Montero also crossed the whitewash for the Storm before Beerwah, who were well led by their player-coach, former New Zealand Test forward Grant Young, ultimately proved too strong.
However, the defeat did not diminish the experience for the Storm, who were treated to an open-air banquet provided by the local community.
Tour organiser Richard Giles commented: "The hospitality we were shown by the people of Beerwah was unbelievable and is something I will never forget.
"It's always been an ambition of mine to bring a touring party to Australia, and having the opportunity of playing on the same field as the likes of Dale Shearer, Kerrod Walters and Grant Young makes the experience all the more memorable.
"We've built up a reputation of being a touring side in the past few years and plan to venture into Europe again at the end of the season, but we would also welcome the opportunity to return Beerwah's hospitality should they ever wish to visit the UK."
Souths will be special guests at a 'Diamonds and Denim' charity ball on Friday evening before concluding their tour with a fixture against Gympie Devils RLFC on Saturday afternoon.
THE competition lead keeps changing.
Five weeks ago Redcliffe were on top of the Queensland Cup ladder then Toowoomba assumed the lead followed by Burleigh the next week.
The Clydesdales got the lead back the next week but now Norths sit on top on percentages from Easts, Toowoomba and Burleigh.
Trying to tip the eventual premiers is an almost impossible task and this year?s finals series promises to be the best in Queensland Cup history.
Round 14 kicks off this weekend with Easts hosting the Central Comets at Langlands Park in the ABC televised clash.
The game has been robbed of one of its drawcards, former Test star, Darren Smith who has been recruited by the Broncos in a ?loan? deal with the Tigers covering this weekend and the next.
The Comets are on 12 points, five points outside the top five and they still have finals ambitions.
In the other Saturday clash North Queensland Young Guns host the Redcliffe Dolphins in Cairns and a big crowd is anticipated.
On Sunday Norths host Toowoomba at Bishop Park in what shapes as the match of the round.
At Bendigo Bank Oval Ipswich play Burleigh while at the Piggabeen Complex at West Tweed Heads the two Seagulls ? Tweed and Wynnum ? clash.
The other round 14 match is between Souths Logan and Brothers Valleys and it will be played next Saturday, June 26 at Davies Park with the match to be televised live by the ABC.
On the same day City will play Country at Barcaldine.
The Country team will assemble in Rockhampton next Wednesday and travel to Barcaldine the following day.
The City side will travel to Barcaldine next Friday and attend a sportsmen?s dinner there that night.
Also next Saturday the Queensland Rangers team chosen from the Divisional Carnival in Mackay last weekend will play New South Wales Country at Stan Sercombe Oval, Murwillumbah.
Stan Sercombe Oval is named after one of the NSW Country?s best league administrators and the field would be the envy of many clubs in Brisbane with two grandstands on the western side and terrific amenities.
Next Wednesday night an under 15 Schoolboys ?Test? between New South Wales and Queensland will be played at Kougari Oval with two Arrive Alive Cup secondary school matches as curtain raisers.
The under 15 schools national titles will be played in Adelaide from June 27 to July 2.
The annual Confraternity Shield for independent schools will be held in Townsville from June 28 to July 2 with a number of union playing schools entering sides-among them St Patricks, Shorncliffe whose defence coach is former Brothers? centre, Murray Schultz who played in the 1974 Brisbane grand final.
WITH all teams in New Zealand's Bartercard Cup competition having a week off last week, Round 8 this weekend will sure to be action packed as we head into the second half of the competition.