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The Pine Rivers Bears have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, mounting a second-half comeback to defeat Logan Brothers 20-16 in Saturdays elimination semi-final.

With a 14-point lead at half time, the do-or-die was Logans to win, but wave after wave of penalties and mistakes gave Pine Rivers all they needed to get back in and keep their premiership hopes alive.

Brothers dominated the game early, nabbing the first try when Joe Richards bulldozed over the defender to put his team up 4-0 after five minutes.

The Logan forward pack, which has commanded the competition all year, continued its dominance in attack with Niu Mauigoa and Les Aumua wreaking havoc on the fringes and showing raw aggression in defence which at time cost them penalties.

However, Pine Rivers were just as liberal in giving away penalties and it soon cost them, with Joe Richards notching up his second and another penalty giving them a shot at goal to push Logans lead out to 10-0.

Clearly exasperated, the Bears gave into their frustration and gifted four consecutive penalties to let Logan straight into their defensive 10m and another shot at scoring.

Brothers obliged, sending John Maireroa sailing between the posts to secure a 16-0 lead. Pine Rivers were able to snatch two points back in the final minute, to close the gap to 16-12 at half time.

The second half got off to a bizarre start, in what was an almost complete role reversal by the two teams. Pine Rivers, who had looked lacklustre in attack in the opening half, began to find their feet while it was Logan who began making the mistakes with poor ball control and careless penalties.

Adam Breen, a rare standout in the first half for the Bears, was the first to strike back, drifting through a massive defensive hole in Brothers defence to claw back six points and set the score at 16-8.

Well and truly back in it and with a try to their credit, Pine Rivers began to fire. Their forwards, who had been missing in action during the first 40, began to gain strong metres up the middle, setting the platform for Tye Ingebrigtsen to bring his side back within two points.

In a tense final few minutes, both teams came agonisingly close to landing the knockout blow and keep their premiership dreams alive. Finally, Logan cracked under the pressure, knocking-on in the final five minutes to give Pine Rivers the attacking set it needed to put Jack Walters over the white line for a nail-biting 20-16 win.

Pine Rivers now move on to the preliminary final against Easts Juniors.


You can read about the Brisbane Natives v Brisbane Valleys game at Match Day Burger.
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