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The weekend guide: March 27-28

Community rugby league returns in a big way this weekend with another three senior leagues kicking off across the state.

With Sunshine Coast / Gympie already into Round 3, clubs in Cairns, Mount Isa and Bundaberg can't wait to take to the field for their opening weekend of 2021.

A majority of other community competitions will kick-off after the Easter break on April 10.

For QRL statewide competitions fixtures, visit qrl.com.au/draw.

Brisbane Rugby League

Round 1 kicks off on Saturday, April 10.

QTOP Premiership - Gold Coast

Round 1 kicks off on Saturday, May 8.

Ipswich Rugby League

Round 1 kicks off on Saturday, April 17.

South East Queensland Women's Premiership

Round 1 kick off date is yet to be confirmed.

Hutchinson Builders Cup - Toowoomba

Round 1 kicks off on Saturday, April 10.

Toowoomba Women's Premiership

Round 1 kicks off on Saturday, April 10.

Maudsley Excavations Cup - Sunshine Coast / Gympie

Conditions should be a little more kinder in Round 3 of the Maudsley Excavations Cup after the recent South East Queensland deluge; making for some quality contests up and down the Sunshine Coast.

Noosa travel to Nambour with both teams on the hunt for their second win of the season. The Crushers got out of jail with a gritty two-point over Gympie last start; meanwhile Noosa avoided the wet weather thanks to the bye.

The Swans play host to Gympie with both teams sitting one win and one loss entering the third round. Maroochydore coach Dennis Moore would have been pleased at his side's 14-4 win against Caboolture, but the Devils will be wanting to make amends of last week's two-point loss at home.

Competition leaders Kawana face off against Caboolture who are still searching for their first win of the season, as are Caloundra and Stanley River - who face off at Sharks' home ground to complete the line in Round 3.

Round 3 fixtures

Time/day Match Venue
5.30pm Saturday, March 27 Nambour Crushers v Noosa Pirates Nambour RLFC
5.30pm Saturday, March 27 Maroochydore Swans v Gympie Devils Maroochydore JRL
5.30pm Saturday, March 27 Kawana Dolphins v Caboolture Snakes Kawana Sports Precinct
5.30pm Saturday, March 27 Caloundra Sharks v Stanley River Wolves Tinonee Oval, Golden Beach

Beerwah Bulldogs - bye

Sunshine Coast / Gympie Women's Cup

There's plenty of excitement on the Coast as the Sunshine Coast / Gympie Women's competition kicks off its 2021 season.

Opting not to play in last year's coronavirus-affected season, all seven teams have trained the house down in preparation for a big year of entertaining action.

Nambour host Kawana, Caloundra are at home to Noosa and Caboolture will travel up the Bruce Highway to tackle Gympie.

Round 1 fixtures

Time/day Match Venue
1pm Saturday, March 27 Nambour Crushers v Kawana Dolphins Nambour RLFC
2.30pm Saturday, March 27 Caloundra Sharks v Noosa Pirates Tinonee Oval, Golden Beach
1pm Sunday, March 28 Gympie Devils v Caboolture Snakes Jack Stokes Oval, Gympie

Beerwah Bulldogs - bye

Bundaberg Broadcasters Premiership

Contributed by QRL Bundaberg correspondent Vince Habermann

Brothers will start their Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership defence with a salivating first-round showdown with Wests Panthers in the third game of the Salter Oval triple-header at 5pm Saturday, March 27.

The 2019 champions have named a team which includes just seven members of their grand final side; captain and powerhouse second rower Kevin Sherriff, fellow workaholic forwards Tyla Hodge and Brendan Stewart, highly potent halves Zak Bainbridge and Taylor Barritt, and electrifying backs Jayden Alberts and Tyrell Priestley.

Despite the loss of one of their best players in Josh Birch - who was also instrumental in their victory over Waves Tigers - they have some high-quality new recruits such as Tim Cole, Royce Blair and Tom Murray, as well as returning stars. Also returning is highly successful coach Andrew Hamilton, a club favourite son, and has them primed to hit the ground running.

Brothers powerhouse front rower Brendan Stewart on the burst in their recent trial clash with Gladstone Valleys.
Brothers powerhouse front rower Brendan Stewart on the burst in their recent trial clash with Gladstone Valleys.

But standing in their way is a Panthers side with an awesome forward pack headed by captain and former BRL A Grade player of the year James Prichard. It also includes Dan and Josh Tanner, Shaun Ezzy, and the hulking Lachlan Patterson - who returns home after a stint with Redcliffe Dolphins in the Hastings Deering Colts.

They also have class, youth and experience and speed to burn in a highly potent backline, including four members of their premiership winning under 18 team of 2020; prolific scoring centre Jensen Deamer - who was a revelation in A Grade in 2019 - Gage Laird, Marcus Tanner and Brendan Grills.

Earlier at 1pm, beaten 2019 A Grade grand finalists Waves Tigers will meet Hervey Bay Seagulls, and while Tigers master-coach Antonio Kaufusi has not yet named his side who has lost Clinton Horne and Tyrell Howard to Easts Magpies, former North Queensland Cowboys NYC star centre Cody Maughan is a great addition, and they are certain to be a major force once again.

At 3pm, Easts Magpies will suit up against Wallaroos with both naming very good sides.

New Magpies coach Brent Kuskey - a key member of Brothers’ 2019 premiership side and a former premiership winning captain / coach with both Wests and Brothers - could have more aces, with the club having also retained 2019 BRL player of the year Matt Craven and perennial prolific try scorers Trent Seeds and Billy Stefaniuk. They have also gained some other gun recruits including Andreas Nona.

Round 1 fixtures

Time/day Match Venue
1pm Saturday, March 27 Across the Waves Tigers v Hervey Bay Seagulls Salter Oval, Bundaberg
3pm Saturday, March 27 Easts Magpies v Maryborough Wallaroos Salter Oval, Bundaberg
5pm Saturday, March 27 Past Brothers Bundaberg v Wests Panthers Salter Oval, Bundaberg

Rugby League Gladstone

Round 1 kicks off on Saturday, May 22.

Rockhampton Rugby League

Round 1 kicks off on Saturday, April 10.

Rockhampton Rugby League Women's

Round 1 kicks off on Saturday, April 10.

Purcell's Engineering Men's Premiership - Central Highlands

Round 1 kicks off on Friday, April 9.

Northern Districts Rugby League

Round 1 kicks off on Saturday, April 10.

South Burnett Rugby League

Round 1 kick off date is yet to be confirmed.

Central Burnett Rugby League

Round 1 kick off date is yet to be confirmed.

Roma and District Rugby League

Round 1 kick off date is yet to be confirmed.

Central West Rugby League

Round 1 kicks off on Saturday, April 10.

Components Only Cup - Mackay

Round 1 kicks off on Saturday, April 10.

Mackay Airport Cup - Women's

Round 1 kicks off on Saturday, April 10.

Townsville and District Rugby League Men

Round 1 kicks off on Saturday, April 10.

Townsville and District Rugby League Women

Round 1 kicks off on Saturday, April 10.

Mount Isa Rugby League Men

Footy fans in Mount Isa will be treated to a grand final rematch as rugby league returns to the north west.

Celebrating an undefeated season which included lifting the 2020 premiership, the Wanderers will be aiming to continue the run with a win against a hungry Townies outfit, vying to avenge last year's heartbreaking big dance defeat.

It's a bumper weekend of footy at Alec Inch Oval with an A Grade double header scheduled; Brothers and Cloncurry taking to the field first after a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Round 1 fixtures

Time/day Match Venue
5.20pm Saturday, March 27 Mount Isa Brothers v Cloncurry Eagles Alec Inch Oval, Mount Isa
7pm Saturday, March 27 Town Lions v Wanderers Devils Alec Inch Oval, Mount Isa

Mount Isa Rugby League Women

The Mount Isa Rugby League women's competition also resumes this weekend with Wanderers up against Cloncurry in the jam-packed day of footy at the Isa.

Taking a break in 2020, the girls will be fired up and ready to light up Alec Inch Oval.

Round 1 fixtures

Time/day Match Venue
4pm Saturday, March 27 Mount Isa Wanderers v Cloncurry Eagles Alec Inch Oval, Mount Isa

Cairns District Rugby League

After the Lightning Challenge took centre stage in lieu of the regular CDRL season last year, all 11 teams return to battle it out for ultimate glory in the far north. 

Southern Suburbs and Tully will be the first two teams to officially kick off the new season at Alley Park with the Tigers looking to build on an impressive performance in last year's abridged competition alongside Brothers and two teams from the Northern Pride.

Atherton host Ivanhoes, the Brethren are at home to 2019 premiers Mossman Port Douglas and the Kangaroos look forward to facing Mareeba.

Meanwhile, Northern Pride halfback Matt Egan will headline Innisfail as they travel to Edmonton to try and weather the Storm in an exciting Round 1 matchup.

Round 1 fixtures

Time/day Match Venue
6pm Saturday, March 27 Southern Suburbs Cockatoos v Tully Tigers Alley Park, Gordonvale
7pm Saturday, March 27 Atherton Roosters v Ivanhoe Knights Mungalli Creek Dairy Stadium, Atherton
7pm Saturday, March 27 Edmonton Storm v Innisfail Brothers Petersen Park, Edmonton
3.30pm Sunday, March 28 Cairns Brothers v Mossman Port Douglas Sharks Stan Williams Park, Cairns
4pm Sunday, March 28 Cairns Kangaroos v Mareeba Gladiators Vico Oval, Cairns

Yarrabah Seahawks - bye