IN a weekend that seemed to produce more lopsided scores than usual – Central United and Mackay Cutters battled hard to earn their first points in the Cyril Connell Cup competition; playing out a 16-16 draw at Boyne Island.
Elsewhere throughout the competitions, it seemed the teams vying for a finals berth stepped it up a notch – piling on the points against their opposition.
The top three ranked sides in Connell Cup Pool A – Easts Tigers (who are yet to lose a game), Norths Devils and Gold Coast White – all put on big scores with Norths recording a 60-4 win over Wynnum Manly and Easts Tigers scoring a 64-8 win over Ipswich. Izaia Perese scored a hat-trick for Norths while Joel Gittens also crossed for three tries for the Tigers.
In Pool B, Toowoomba held off a challenge from Northern Pride to secure a 30-26 win and maintain their number two position ahead of the CQ Capras.
In another super Saturday for the junior competitions, the home ground of the Samford Stags will this weekend play host to two of those top sides in Pool A when Norths and Easts meet in what may be a preview of the first finals match set down for April 20.
In the Mal Meninga Cup, Norths Devils star Harry Pondekas scored four tries in his side's big 50-6 win over the Wynnum Manly Seagulls; bringing his competition total so far to seven tries. He has also kicked 15 goals and shares the Leading Point Scorers honours with Townsville’s Aaron Solari with 58 points.
In a tight table at the top for Pool A - the win keeps them in the hunt as the finals approach.
Other teams to secure important wins in the South East pool were Gold Coast Green (62-14 winners over a young Souths Logan Magpies side) and Gold Coast White, who defeated the ladder leading Redcliffe Dolphins 28-22 at Dolphin Oval to hand them their first loss of the competition.
Ipswich would have been happy with their performance in beating Easts Tigers 18-16 in a close game to grab their first win of the season.
Perennial heavyweights Townsville Stingers remain unbeaten in Pool B following another strong win, this time against the CQ Capras who they defeated 50-4. Rainer Power picked up a double in the win, while Jaden Gil scored himself a hat-trick in Northern Pride's 44-16 win over Toowoomba.
This weekend, the Pride will have the bye while round 5 winners Central United will aim to keep in touch with the leaders when they play the Capras at Browne Park.