Cairns join in on Independence fever

The local Papua New Guinean community gathered to honour their homeland's rich history, culture and heritage.

People flocked to the park, eager to experience a slice of Papua New Guinea.

The atmosphere at Fogarty Park was a tantalizing aroma of traditional food like Pariwa, creamy coconut chicken, and various fish dishes.

Colourful and vibrant stalls showcased an array of meri blouses, bilums, and exquisite artwork.

Warriors star eyeing shock return as Queensland clubs circle

Currently based in Redcliffe this season due to Covid restrictions, Walsh could remain in the sunshine state after 2022 according to The Daily Telegraph.

The 19-year-old is yet to seek an official release but multiple sources have said the prized fullback is feeling “uneasy” at the Warriors and it is inevitable that Walsh and his family will return to a Queensland club.

QRL locks in Intrust Super Cup grand final day at Redcliffe

In a coup for fans who enjoy the setting of afternoon footy at a boutique rugby league ground, this year’s decider is confirmed for a 3.10pm kick off and will follow the Hastings Deering Colts grand final.

With two huge games of rugby league and entertainment for the entire family, a capacity crowd is expected to light up a Redcliffe venue renowned for its first-class playing surface and facilities.

Australia to host TRC and 100th Test between All Blacks and Springboks - but distrust remains

Yet, the distrust between Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby won’t be forgiven over a popping of champagne to celebrate this success.

While Perth will also host the delayed third Bledisloe, which also acts as the completion of the second round of the TRC, a date has still not been set because of a possible venue clash at Optus Stadium with the second weekend of the AFL finals.

RA on Tuesday confirmed foxsports.com.au’s report on Monday that the Sunshine State would host the remainder of the TRC.

Consistently inconsistent Titans confident of flying finals flag for Queensland

Gold Coast are in 10th place - two points outside the top eight - with six matches in hand and a relatively favourable run home.

While they face the red-hot Rabbitohs (round 22) and first-placed Storm (round 23), the Titans have four winnable fixtures against teams ranked below them, starting with the Bulldogs on Sunday.

If Justin Holbrook's side can triumph in those games, it could be enough to sneak into the play-offs for the first time since 2016.

However, considering the Gold Coast haven't won back-to-back matches since round three, it's easier said than done.

Queensland to close borders to NSW and ACT

It comes as the state recorded one new case of coronavirus overnight.

The 68-year-old Queensland woman was diagnosed with the virus in the past 24 hours and authorities are still investigating the source of the infection.

Two historic cases have also been added to the state's total of 1,088 cases.

The hotspot declaration means anyone travelling from NSW or the nation's capital will soon be banned from entering the Sunshine State.

Queenslanders who return after travelling there will be sent to mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.

QLD waiting to see NRL plan

The NRL is looking to resume its season on May 28, with clubs to return to training early next month despite the coronavirus pandemic.

But Palaszczuk said she was still waiting to hear from the NRL, which has three clubs – Brisbane Broncos, North Queensland Cowboys and Gold Coast Titans – based in Queensland.

"I have not seen any detailed plan," she told a news conference on Thursday.

Fresh warnings in Queensland and New South Wales

About 150 fires are still burning in New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland, feeding off tinder-dry conditions.

Fifty houses were destroyed or damaged in NSW on Tuesday but no lives were lost, officials said. At one point, fires broke out in suburbs of Sydney.

On Wednesday, blazes caused fresh emergencies in Queensland.

"The conditions are of concern to us," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters.

The threat in NSW has been downgraded from catastrophic - the highest level - but officials urged residents to remain vigilant.

State of Origin: The key numbers as NSW Blues hope to make home advantage count in decider

After the bitter blow of losing to Queensland Maroons in Brisbane first time out, a thumping 38-6 victory for the Blues in Game II was a stark contrast.

Yet ahead of this week's crucial game, Queensland can point to having won on four of their last seven visits to the former Olympic Stadium, while they also possess a supreme recent record in deciding games.

We look at key facts and figures with the help of Opta numbers ahead of Game III.

Queensland win Origin opener

A try-scoring double by man of the match Dane Gagai helped the Maroons overcome an 8-0 halftime deficit and a string of missed chances to draw first blood in front of 52,191 fans.

It was a dream start for Queensland's new Origin era as they look to reclaim the title.

And it was a pretty good look for polarising mind coach Bradley Charles Stubbs.

Ahead of his fourth campaign, Maroons coach Kevin Walters was looking for inspiration as his side began an Origin series without the last of their future Immortals, Billy Slater and Greg Inglis.