There is a crush at the top of the Universities Rugby League Queensland competition after the Australian Catholic University and the Queensland University of Technology teams staked their claims on Wednesday night (May 25).
Amazingly after two matches on Wednesday, three teams sit equal first on 11 competition points, all with the same points differential of plus 22.
At Meadowbrook the QUT Trouts handed premiers the Griffith Logan Redbacks their second straight loss at home with a 24-20 win.
It was a sweet victory for the Trouts, who were last season’s minor premiers but never got a crack at the Redbacks in the decider after a shock semi-final loss to the University of Queensland.
But they were up to it last night, turning a 14-10 lead into a solid win.
It allowed the Trouts to move up to the Redbacks at the top of the competition, but the pair were joined soon after by ACU.
Down on the Gold Coast, ACU blew the Griffith Panthers away early with three tries in the opening 11 minutes, including the first from strong lock Jack Peoples after a break by prop Richard Tengdui in the first minute.
But the Panthers would not go away, with running half Julian Conboy keeping his side in with a chance.
Conboy scored twice to bring it back to 26-12 at halftime, and when the Panthers went over first in the second half to make it 26-16, it was game on.
But ACU half Geoff Fabila split the Panthers twice in a 13-minute burst to put the game away despite Conboy notching his hat-trick in the 59th minute.
The final match of round five between the Griffith Dragons and UQ Hounds will be played on Thursday, June 9, as the main curtain-raiser to the Broncos-Raiders NRL Game.
The competition will then go on hold for university semester break, with round six to return on July 27.
URLQ ROUND 5 RESULTS
ACU 36 (Geoff Fabila 2, Jake Radcliffe, Maanu Emery, Khaleel Waqar, Conor Morrisey, Jack Peoples tries; Leon Yeatman 4 goals) defeated GOLD COAST GRIFFITH PANTHERS 22 (Julian Conboy 3, Adam Pillidge tries; Cody Feltham 3 goals) at Parkwood Sharks Juniors.
QUT TROUTS 24 (Bradick Aylward, Blake Trace, Josh Martin, Lance Hamilton, Matt Scott tries; Cameron Jones, Blake Trace goals) defeated GRIFFITH LOGAN REDBACKS 20 (Cris Afamasaga, Tony Lagaaia, Senetenori Tamala, Mofate Afoa tries; Brando Vaalu 2 goals) at Griffith University Logan, Meadowbrook.
Griffith Dragons v University of Qld Hounds to be played on June 9 at Suncorp Stadium.
11 Points – ACU (+22), Griffith Logan Redbacks (+22), QUT Trouts (+22)
8 Points – Griffith Dragons (+8), UQ Hounds (-12)
7 Points – Griffith Gold Coast Panthers (-66)