Footy feast, Liverpool quest and top Ipswich players
IT'S Origin time again with Game 1 of the series to kick off on Wednesday night.
It's the time of the year when club football is put aside and you are either a Cockroach or Cane Toad.
Both teams have been announced and neither side contained any real shocks.
Queensland will go into the series with no Thurston or Slater this year but have two emerging superstars in Kalyn Ponga and Cameron Munster to replace them.
NSW will rely on their big forward pack to get them on the front foot to enable halves pairing Cleary and debutee Walker to give clean ball to their backs, especially Tedesco who is always dangerous in these games.
Who wins this game? The team that controls the ball the best and gets the go forward needed in these games will win.
In saying that, I see the Blues drawing first blood at Suncorp.
Time to end suffering
LONG-suffering Liverpool supporters get the chance on Sunday morning to put a trophy into the cabinet after finishing second in the Premier League while only losing one game for the season.
It's the final of the Champions League where the Reds will tackle fellow English opponents in Tottenham in Madrid.
Both team's road to the final were amazing with Tottenham coming from two goals down to defeat Ajax while Liverpool did the unthinkable and overturned a 3-0 loss to Barceloana to thrash them 4-0 at Anfield.
Liverpool have won the final on five occasions but have stumbled in their past two appearances in 2007 and 2018.
Tottenham will be playing in their first final.
Liverpool will go in favourites as they defeated Spurs on the two times they have met this season.
I am one of those long suffering supporters but believe it is our time to finally hold a trophy aloft.
BEST of luck to the eight Ipswich League players who will represent SEQ at this week-end's representative carnival at Southport.
The top two Rugby League Ipswich teams will supply three players each in Chris Ash, Robert Kennedy, Josh Afoa (Brothers) while Goodna will be represented by Zac Lemberg, Ono So'oialo and Brett Kelly.
The other players come from Fassifern (Mitchell Range) and West End (Kelepi Faukafa).
The men will play two games over the weekend against rivals from Northern and Central.
The end goal is selection in the Queensland Rangers team which will battle NSW later in the year.
The carnival will also feature four women's teams playing in an emerging carnival.
The goal for these girls is to get some representative experience before hopefully moving along the pathway to the womens national competition next year.
The women's national competition started today at Burleigh's Pizzey Park with Ipswich players representing SEQ and Qld Country.
Origin selectors will be on hand to monitor their form.
Good luck to all Ipswich representatives.
RLI Rd 11 preview
WEST End v Fassifern (Saturday): West End will look to put an embarrassing effort behind them while Fassifern will register their first victory for the season.
Although the Bulldogs defeated the Bombers in round one, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since.
West End get a few troops back this week but will have to show a lot more in attack and defence to even be a glimmer of hope in this game.
Fassifern, minus five-eight Mitchell Range, might just have enough to record victory number one.
Norths v Goodna (Sunday): Norths will be hoping to put in a better defensive effort this week or the score could really get out of hand. Goodna were ruthless last week in dismant-ling a depleted Bulldogs outfit.
The Tigers have home ground advantage but it means nothing if you don't stick to the game plan.
The Eagles will be minus Zac Lemberg, Brett Kelly and Ono So'oialo on representative duties but should have enough depth to replace them.
With these stars gone, coach Kirk will look to LJ Waddups to rally the troops.
Brothers v Redbank (Sunday): Brothers go into this game fresh after the bye round while the surprise packs of the season Redbank will look to continue their great form.
Brothers lose Chris Ash, Josh Afoa and Robert Kennedy (rep duties) while the Bears will go into the clash team intact.
Brothers pride themselves on always playing well at home and will need to be at their best if they are to come out of this game with a victory.
The Bears are one of the form teams of the competition going unbeaten in their past four games.
HERO of the week: Congratulations to two young footballers on the way up. Sam Walker and Jack Martin have been selected in the Queensland under-18 side. They will run out in the curtainraiser to the Origin on Wednesday night. What an experience.
Villain of the week: 1. If it's not one of them, its the other. This time it's Bernard Tomic whose performance in round one of the French Open was deplorable. Can someone please show them what Aussie fight, determination and will to win is all about.
2. Grassroots football is crying out for more money and then we hear the price the QRL spent on Bradley Stubbs. Kevvie Walters employed Stubbs who is dubbed the "coach whisperer". He charges clients $5500 an hour. I hope Kevvie got a discount on this fee.
Did you know? 1. The most points scored in an Origin game was in 2000, in Game 3 of the series when NSW beat Qld 56-16.
2. The oldest person to play Origin was Petero Civoniceva, at 36 years, 74 days. The youngest player was Ben Ikin at 18 years, 83 days.
Bomber's best: Two out of three tips isn't bad however it is not a collect in a three-team All Up.
This week, I have found two horses that are super chances. Brisbane Race 1 no 4 Autocratic and Race 5 No 9 Plaque Stone.
Latest RLI Player of the Year points: Goodna v West End - 3 Ramon Filipine (Goodna), 2 Brett Kelly (Goodna), 1 LJ Waddups (Goodna).
Norths v Redbank: 3 Farren Willett (Redbank), 2 Blake Olive (Norths), 1 Adrian Elder (Redbank).
Fassifern v Swifts: Points unavailable.
Leaderboard top five: 13 Wes Conlon (Brothers); 8 Brett Kelly (Goodna); 6 Ramon Filipine (Goodna), Jake O'Doherty (Swifts), Ratu Vatuinaruku (Swifts).
A-Grade ladder: 1. Brothers 28, 2. Goodna 26, 3. Swifts 25, 4. Redbank 24, 5. Norths 18, 6. West End 15, 7. Fassifern 14.
Reserve Grade: 1. Brothers 30, 2. Goodna 27, 3. Fassifern 25, 4. Swifts 20, 5. Redbank 20, 6. Norths 16, 7. Rosewood 12, 8. West End 10.
Under 20: 1. Brothers 17, 2. Goodna 16, 3. Norths 11, 4. Redbank 10.