Johnson ready to prove he's got what it takes
RUGBY LEAGUE AFTER just five games for the Central Comets, boom centre Karl Johnson is already making a name for himself in the Queensland Wizard Cup. The former Junior Kiwi, who joined the Comets earlier this year after he was granted a release from the Newcastle Knights, was this year named in the Queensland Cup XXXX Country side to play City in their annual clash at Clermont next weekend. Still on a high after Monday's announcement, Johnson yesterday said he was ready to prove a point next Saturday night. "I wanted to get into some representative teams this year, so I'm one up now," he laughed yesterday. He said his next major goal was selection in the Queensland Residents side to play New South Wales in the curtain raiser to the second State of Origin match at Brisbane next month. "I haven't been really happy with my form so far, but I had a better game on the weekend (against Mackay)," he said. "I'm still trying to work in with the team. I guess the selectors were happy with my form so that's a good thing." Johnson was the only Comet picked in the side, which is dominated with NRL-experienced players. Meanwhile, the 23-year-old was yesterday named in this weekend's Comets team to tackle Redcliffe at home, with captain-coach Wayne Barnett naming a relatively unchanged line-up after the weekend's win over Mackay. Brisbane Broncos prop Dave Taylor is the only new inclusion to the side, coming back to the Queensland Wizard Cup competition with the Broncos on a bye in the NRL, with forward Liam Anlezark named as 18th man. A familiar face will make a return to Browne Park for Saturday's round 11 clash, with the Comets keeping his identity under close wraps until later in the week. Four Challenge Cup semi-finals will hit the field as curtain raisers to the main game, with the two under-20s semi finals, Rockhampton Brothers v Yeppoon and Fitzroy Gracemere v Tannum Sands, kicking off from 1pm. They will be followed by the reserve grade semi final between Yeppoon and Biloela at 3.40pm, and the A-grade 1v 4 clash between Yeppoon and CQU Norths at 5pm. The main game kicks off at 7.30pm.