JUST four points separate the top five teams in the Intrust Super Cup after several upsets in Round 17 has contending teams battling for a home final and others having a top six position in their sights.
The defending premiers, the Ipswich Jets have kept their hopes of back-to-back titles alive after their third straight victory while the Souths Logan Magpies and Wynnum Manly Seagulls are also closing in on the top six after impressive wins.
A dominant performance against Norths has the Easts Tigers primed for a top four finish and the finals hopes of the Sunshine Coast Falcons were dealt a blow after a loss to Mackay.
SIX weeks ago, Ipswich’s Queensland Cup premiership defence was all but over.
Today, the Jets sit on the cusp of the top-six after collecting a third-straight win with a 34-20 triumph over Central Queensland on Saturday.
The homeside went behind 6-0 when Capras fullback Reece Baker crossed in the fifth minute, before hitting back through Nemani Valekapa (13th minute), Billy McConnachie (20th minute) and Michael Purcell (27th minute) to take an 18-10 lead into halftime.
The sides went tit for tat after the break, with Nat Neale (41st minute) and Purcell (55th minute) touching down for the Jets to cancel out tries from Capras duo Justin Tavae (46th minute) and Adam Henry (60th minute).
The win, Ipswich’s fourth in five games, has lifted the side into eighth place, two points behind sixth-placed Sunshine Coast.
- The Jets travel to Cairns to tackle the Northern Pride on Sunday, while the Capras will face Easts at Langlands Park.
THE Sunshine Coast Falcons have fallen out of the Intrust Super Cup’s top six after a hard-fought loss on the road to the Mackay Cutters.
Craig Ingebrigtsen’s side needed a victory to put a gap between his side and the chasing teams below but a three-try first half proved too much for the Falcons to overcome away from home.
Mackay jumped out to a 14-6 lead at halftime after tries to Patrick Mago, Liam Taylor and Joss Boyton and Ryley Jacks the only one to cross the line from the visitors in the first 40 minutes.
Both teams scored two tries each in the second half with Jacks earning a second in the 74th minute but it was too late as the Cutters finished with an eight-point win.
- Sunshine Coast host Redcliffe on Saturday from 3pm.
WYNNUM Manly may not have retained the Herald Cup but a 75th minute field goal from halfback Mathew Seamark helped the Seagulls keep their finals hopes alive with an 11-10 victory over rivals Redcliffe on Saturday.
The Seagulls went into the clash knowing their chances of keeping the Cup was all but gone after facing a 32-point deficit but knew a victory would have them on the edge of the competition’s top six.
Wynnum Manly coach Jon Buchanan said it was a special win for the team, especially after news he would be released at the end of the season.
“It was a pretty good way to finish what was a tough week,” he said.
“I thought Matty Seamark and Pat Templeman’s game management in the last 20 minutes was exceptional and really helped us get a big win. We should take some confidence from this.”
Redcliffe held a 4-0 lead at halftime after Curtin Johnston crossed the line for the home side in the 28th minute.
But Wynnum Manly quickly responded after the break through Mitchell Buckett to have the visitors leading 6-4 just three minutes into the second half. Jonus Pearson then put the Dolphins ahead after scoring a try in the 57th minute, which was converted by Darren Nichols for Redcliffe to once again be in front 10-6.
But Seagulls centre Mitchell Cronin found his way over the try line in the 72nd minute, which Seamark failed to convert for scored to be level. The stage was set for playmakers from either side to step up and it was Seamark who slotted a field goal with five minutes remaining to give Wynnum Manly their sixth win of the season.
- The Seagulls now sit just two points behind sixth spot and take on Souths Logan at Davies Park on Sunday while the Dolphins are still second and travel to the Sunshine Coast to take on the Falcons on Saturday.
EASTS TIGERS def NORTHS DEVILS 40-16 at Bishop Park
NORTHS crashed back to earth with a 40-16 thumping from Easts on Sunday, but a mid-table logjam means Mark Gliddon’s men remain in the Queensland Cup finals hunt.
Entering the round 17 home clash with back-to-back wins, the Devils showed early fight to enter the halftime break at 10-10, before Easts flexed its premiership muscle with five tries to one in the second stanza.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the 21st minute with a Dane Chang try, before Norths hit back three minutes later through Maeli Seve.
The Devils looked like taking a halftime lead when Luke Pollock found the line in the 37th minute, but Easts ensured scores were level when Chang crossed for his second.
It was all one-way traffic after the break, with Jacob Paul, Jake Foster, Matthew White, Tommy Butterfield and former Devil Javarn White all finding the line before Todd Murphy scored a 79th-minute consolation try.
But while the Nundah side has now slipped back to 11th, it remains three points adrift of the top six ahead of Sunday’s trip to Burleigh.
Coming off a bye, the Bears are three points clear at the top of the table.
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES def TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 30-12 at Davies Park
A DOUBLE to Souths Logan Magpies halfback Sam Scarlett has boosted his side’s finals hopes as they dealt Townsville their fifth loss of the season.
The Magpies moved to level on points with the sixth-placed Northern Pride after holding the Blackhawks scoreless in the second half at Davies Park on Sunday to record a 30-12 win.
Brenden Santi silenced the home crowd when he scored in the first minute, but the locals were cheering again when Scarlett bagged his first of the afternoon just two minutes later.
George Fai extended Souths Logan’s lead in the 10th minute with a try, before Rhyse Martin crossed in the final 10 minutes of the half to narrow the gap to two points at half time, with a penalty goal giving the Magpies the lead.
While the teams tussled for momentum in the first half, it was all Josh Hannay’s side in the second stanza as Scarlett scored his second in the 53rd minute, before Luke Archer and Leon Panapa rounded out the scoreline in the final 10 minutes.
- Souths Logan will host Wynnum Manly on Sunday at Davies Park, with kick-off at 1.40pm.
- Burleigh Bears 27
- Redcliffe Dolphons 24
- PNG Hunters 24
- Townsville Blackhawks 23
- Easts Tigers 23
- Northern Pride 18
- Souths Logan Magpies 18
- Sunshine Coast Falcons 17
- Ipswich Jets 16
- Wynnum Manly Seagulls 16
- Norths Devils 15
- CQ Capras 14
- Tweed Head Seagulls 12
- Mackay Cutters 7
By Staff Writers, Quest Newspapers
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