Goodna danger man Ray Baira will have to be contained for Swifts to have any chance of winning this weekend's A-Grade clash.
Goodna danger man Ray Baira will have to be contained for Swifts to have any chance of winning this weekend's A-Grade clash. Rob Williams

It's up to footy fans to keep Magic Round in Brisbane


IF you are a supporter of any of the 16 NRL teams, you can't complain about not being about to see your team play this weekend as it's Magic Round.

What makes this round magic is that every team in the competition will converge on Suncorp Stadium making it the showpiece for our game over four days.

It starts tonight with the Titans battling the Sharks. The round will conclude at 4pm on Sunday with Wayne Bennett's Rabbitohs playing the Cowboys.

Sandwiched between these two games will be another six games of hotly contested football.

While all the matches are important, the Broncos v Sea Eagles will be a pivotal clash as one is heading up the ladder and the other sliding down.

Unfortunately for Broncos fans, it just happens to be their team that is sitting in an unfamiliar position for them - a lowly 13th.

Undoubtedly the clash of the weekend is set down for 2pm Sunday where the table-topping Roosters will meet the much improved Canberra Raiders, who currently sit in third.

A Raiders win would go a long way to showing all league fans that they are a genuine contender for the title come September.

For Queensland NRL fans this is a chance to show the bosses of the league that it was a correct decision to bring this Magic Round to Brisbane.

A successful event this year might just mean that they have no other choice but to put it back on the calendar again next year.

It's now over to you if you want it back.

RLI preview

ROUND 9: Norths v Brothers (Saturday): Norths will be out to continue their recent good form while Brothers will be aiming to show that they are back to their best.

The Tigers play a night game at home for the first time and will be boosted by it being their Old Boys Day.

The Bretheren, after suffering defeat for the first time two weeks ago, were back on song last week with a punishing display.

For Norths to win, they must contain the Brothers forwards who produce a great platform for their speedy backs to carve up oppositions out wide.

Brothers' left side of Fetaoai and Saili-Motu are in form and if given room will create havoc.

Tip: Brothers.

West End v Redbank (Sunday): West End must put the first half debacle from last week aside and concentrate on the much improved second half effort.

Redbank will look to continue their great from from last week where they knocked over the Bluebirds.

The Bulldogs were blown off the park in their game against Brothers last week but showed fight in the second half. They will get several players back into their team this week.

The Bears put in a superb performance to defeat Swifts at home and will consolidate their position in the top four with a win.

Tip: Redbank.

Swifts v Goodna (Sunday): Swifts were brought back to earth last week losing to Redbank. That came after producing their best performance of the year the week before in defeating Brothers.

Goodna, after having a fortnight off, put in a sound performance in defeat of Fassifern but will need to step it up a notch against the Bluebirds on their home field.

Swifts were lethargic last week and coach Damian O'Donohue will be looking for what went wrong in their game or the bigger faster Eagles will put them to the sword.

Goodna forwards are rolling ahead but it is their backs led by Brett Kelly and Ray Baira where the danger will come for Swifts.

Tip: Goodna.

Latest competition points: Brothers 22, Goodna 22, Swifts 19, Redbank 18, Norths 16, West End 13, Fassifern 10.

Quick thoughts

HERO of the week: 1. The ACB for making the Gabba the opening Test of next summer. We have been unbeatable at this ground in the past so why take this away.

2. Ipswich State High for their fantastic victory defeating the more fancied Wavell State High in their opening Langer Cup game. Lachlan Williamson iced the win with a penalty goal after the hooter.

3. Liverpool scored the impossible win on Wednesday morning when they defeated arguably the best team in the world in Barcelona in their return leg of the Champions League. The Reds are off to the final for the second straight year. They will be hoping to go one better this time.

Villain of the week: Why do reporters always have to ask Anthony Mundine his opinion on every controversial issue. He opened his mouth again and blamed racism for Israel Folau's dismissal. It's got nothing to do with that. Maybe Anthony is still feeling the effects of his first round knockout by Jeff Horn.

Did you know? Boston Celtics Bill Russell has won the most championships rings, a phenomenal 11 titles. The next best is Sam Jones with 10, followed by John Havlicek, Tom Heinsohn, K C Jones and Tom Saunders with 8.

Bomber's best: My horse tip ran a shocker in the wet finishing near the tail. This week the recently dreadful Broncos will snap that form with a win against the Sea Eagles.

Top players

RLI latest Player of the Year points (3/2/1): West End v Brothers - 3 Michael Saili-Motu (Brothers), 2 Loia Fetaoi (Brothers), 1 Tupu Lisati (West End).

Redbank v Swifts: 3 Alby Talipeau (Redbank), 2 Toby Campbell (Redbank), 1 Jake O'Doherty (Swifts).

Fassifern v Goodna: 3 Ray Baira (Goodna), 2 Jake Hooper (Fassifern), 1 Simon Bartley (Goodna).

Ladder: 10 Wes Conlon (Brothers); 6 Jake O'Doherty (Swifts), Brett Kelly (Goodna); 5 Ray Baira (Goodna), John Maila (Brothers), John-Paul Leota (Redbank), Ratunaisa Vatuinaruku (Swifts).

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