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The opinions and views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official view of the Queensland Rugby League.

DO YOU want the good news or the bad news?

I will make the choice for you.

The good news is PNG Hunters, Souths Logan and the Ipswich Jets are legitimate contenders this year.

They are three teams few predicted to be premiership threats yet the Hunters are 3-0, the Jets 2-1 and Souths 2-0.

The Jets injury-riddled win over Wynnum Manly was a tremendous achievement and one of the great upsets of this competition.

Wynnum were coming off a great victory over the Easts Tigers which proved their contender status, yet a Jets side littered with players with limited Cup experience swarmed over the top of them.

Souths’ 28-26 win over Burleigh was equally impressive.

Those three teams, especially the Hunters, are the feel good stories of the Intrust Super Cup.

The bad news is, the Sunshine Coast Falcons are unlikely to win a game this year and Central Capras, while impressive in patches, are not ready for the finals.

To have two teams already out of finals contention in round four is a blow for the competition.

Form-lines should not be so disparate this early.

The Falcons were beaten 50-6 by the Easts Tigers but more disparaging was most judges predicted the score-line.

The Falcons represent one of rugby league’s great junior nurseries and chief executive Chris Flannery is tireless in his effort to reconnect the club to the region.

They will be successful, but not this year or the next.

They need help in the short term and hopefully an NRL club realises how important they are to the code and links with them in the coming weeks.


WHILE Queensland is rich with playmakers at present, the team is only two injuries away from needing to call up a rookie half.

Which is why Luke Keary should be available for Queensland and not forced to play for the Blues.

This NRL’s decision to gift him to the Blues does follow the eligibility criteria rules but it could haunt the Maroons.

Any eligibility rules which force a man who spent his first 10 years in Queensland and wants to play for Queensland to be New South Wales eligible needs tweaking.

The rules for the most part work but when a player is clearly dual eligible, such as Keary, it should come down to his preference.

Spending your first 10 years in a state is more than enough to claim you should represent that state.

Right now, Keary, who was to be South Sydney’s first choice five-eighth before injury, is well down the pecking order of Origin halves.

However, he is very talented and in three years when Cronk and Thurston are possibly no longer playing representative football, Queensland will need him.

In fact if both Cronk and Thurston were injured this year, Queensland’s best halves combination would be Daly Cherry-Evans and Keary.

Because Keary is unavailable, selectors would likely pick Ben Hunt or Robert Lui and while both are solid first-graders they would need to improve tremendously to be a success in the Origin arena.