GOING FORWARD: Redbank Plains A-Grade player John Paul Leota powers ahead in last weekend's win over Brothers.
GOING FORWARD: Redbank Plains A-Grade player John Paul Leota powers ahead in last weekend's win over Brothers. Cordell Richardson

Future Origin superstars lead way



QUEENSLAND had a host of brilliant players, none more so than superstar fullback Kalyn Ponga in their Origin 1 victory.

The Maroons were their own worst enemies in the first half bombing a few tries and were slow to start the game.

However, they came out in the second half to apply the screws to a Blues team that lacked direction and cohesion down their left side.

Ponga was dangerous for nearly the whole game.

Dane Gagai also put in a great performance scoring two tries and outplaying his NSW opposition.

Another player who worked hard and contributed to the Maroons victory was bench player Joe Ofahengaue. His effort showed that he is an Origin player.

The Blues were led by fullback James Tedesco who put in another tireless performance and hooker Damien Cook, who was threatening in the middle of the field.

Up 1-0 in the best-of-three series, Queensland will go into the next game in Perth in just over two weeks full of confidence and keen to wrap up the series.

The Blues will no doubt make a change or two but look back on the first half where they attacked the Maroons line but didn't throw anything that Queensland couldn't handle.

Cleary and Walker were given the first crack to lead the team but were found wanting.

Bring on Game 2.

RLI preview

ROUND 12: Fassifern v Norths (Sunday) - Fassifern put their first win on the board last week for the season while Norths accounted for one of the heavyweights in Goodna.

The Bombers have a few PNG recruits in the team and with Mitchell Range back at 5/8, they might start to be a nuisance to other teams as the season builds.

The Tigers put in probably their best effort last weekend with their attack and defence both clicking.

This will be a tight game but home ground advantage will get the Bombers home.

Tip: Fassifern.

Swifts v West End (Sunday): Swifts are going into this clash fresh after a weekend off while West End lost a tight one to Fassifern.

The Bluebirds jumped into second place on the ladder and will be out to consolidate this position with a victory.

The Bulldogs were a lot better last week but still just need to do the little things right before they taste more success.

Swifts will rely on a forward pack that has been setting up their victory while West End will have to turn up committed or a big score could be on the cards.

Tip: Swifts.

Goodna v Brothers (Sunday): Both teams are last start losers with Goodna beaten by Norths and Brothers suffering the same fate at the hands of Redbank.

Both sides were missing three players each on representative duties but both clubs have great depth and were expected to win.

The Eagles have been a little sluggish in two of their past three games and will need to play some basic football and get their mojo back.

Brothers fought hard last week but were short in the middle of the field where the big Bear forwards rolled through.

It promises to be a cracking game with the most disciplined side probably winning it in a close affair.

Tip: Brothers.

RLI A-Grade Player of the Year latest points: West End v Fassifern 3 Saimoni Waka (West End), 2 Lemeki Wright (Fassifern), 1 Regan Wilde (West End).

Brothers v Redbank: 3 Godfrey Okot (Redbank), 2 Wes Conlon (Brothers), 1 Farren Willett (Redbank).

Norths v Goodna: 3 Jarrod Biggs (Norths), 2 LJ Waddups (Goodna), 1 Tyson Hornbuckle (Norths).

Latest standings: 15 Wes Conlon (Brothers); 8 Brett Kelly (Goodna); 6 Ramon Filipine (Goodna), Jake O'Doherty (Swifts), Ratu Vatuinaruku (Swifts).

Ladders: A Grade - 29 Brothers, 28 Swifts, 27 Goodna, 27 Redbank, 21 Norths, 17 Fassifern, 16 West End.

Reserve Grade: 33 Brothers, 30 Goodna, 28 Fassifern, 23 Swifts, 21 Redbank, 17 Norths, 13 Rosewood, 11 West End.

Under 20: 20 Brothers, 17 Goodna, 13 Redbank, 12 Norths.

Quick thoughts

HERO of the week: 1. Liverpool gave their fans something to finally cheer about by winning the Champions League with a 2-0 defeat of Tottenham.

2. Ipswich State High produced one of their best performances in a long while by defeating the powerful Palm Beach Currumbin School 26-6 in the Langer Cup. Ipswich State High teams clean swept PBC, winning the two earlier games.

Villain of the week: South Africa went into the Cricket World Cup as one of the countries that would be battling it out to hold the trophy aloft. Three games into the tournament and they are winless and seem certain to miss the group stage.

Did you know? The Boston Celtics hold the record for most victories in the NBA, winning the title on 17 occasions. They also hold the record for most titles in a row, winning it eight times between 1959-1966. The Los Angeles Lakers have contested the most NBA Finals, playing in 31 deciders.

Bomber's best: Last week's tips resulted in a winner and a shocker from my two horses.

This week I see both the Swans and Magpies defeating the Eagles and Demons respectively in their AFL clashes.