The University of Queensland Hounds sent shock-waves through the Universities Rugby League Queensland competition on Wednesday night with an astonishing win.
League leaders Australian Catholic University looked set to go to St Lucia chasing another win to stay on top of the tree, but the Hounds had other ideas, blitzing them with a stunning 36-0 opening half that blew the game open.
The match finished at 58-10 as Sam Russ scored three tries from the bench and shot the Hounds to the top of the ladder on points differential.
ACU still have time to regroup as they sit equal with the Hounds and Griffith Dragons on 18 competition points, with two rounds remaining before the finals.
Down on the Gold Coast, the Queensland University of Technology Hounds re-ignited their premiership hopes after putting the Griffith Panthers away late.
It was a tight first half with teams trading early tries before the Trouts snuck out to a 10-6 halftime lead.
But the Trouts finished too strong with hard-working lock Tye Buckmaster ending with two tries in the 34-6 win.
At Nathan, the Griffith Dragons managed to overhaul the Griffith Logan Redbacks despite being down a man late in the match.
The Redbacks had started well and took a 16-10 lead into halftime.
They got that out to 20-10 soon after the break through Nittesh Kumar, but from there the Dragons dominated.
A try to Mitchell Café with 12 minutes left levelled the scores at 20-all before a Dragons’ player was sent to the sin bin.
But with 12 men on the field, Dragons’ captain Jesse Domic stepped up to slot a field goal, and coach Liam Fogarty’s team held on for the final nine minutes to take a tough win.
Next week the Hounds will host the Redbacks at UQ, the Panthers must travel to the Dragons at Nathan, and QUT will host a northern derby with ACU at Bishop Park.
URLQ Round 8 Results
UQ Hounds 58 (Sam Russ 3, Brendan Baker 2, Chris Hansen, Jake Tkatchecnko, Luke Clipperton, Keegan Parker, Max Martin tries; Baker 7, Parker 2 goals) defeated ACU 10 (Kirk Harding-Smith, David Stokes tries; Geoff Fabila goal) at UQ, St Lucia campus.
QUT Trouts 34 (Tye Buckmaster 2, Corey MacIntyre, Jayden Trace, Lance Hamilton, Cameron Jones tries; Blake Trace 5 goals) defeated Griffith Gold Coast Panthers 6 (Giovanni Rapana try; Cody Feltham goal) at Parkwood Sharks RLFC.
Griffith Dragons 21 (Callum Gavin, Hale Vaihu, Emmanuel Kiddie, Mitchell Cafe tries; Jesse Domic 2 goals, field goal) defeated Griffith Logan Redbacks 20 (Hafiti Fuli, Apisaloma Filipo, Cyprian Manutai, Nittesh Kumar tries; Cris Afamasaga 2 goals) at Griffith, Nathan campus.
18 points – UQ Hounds (+40), Griffith Dragons (+22), ACU (-17)
16 points – QUT Trouts (+38)
14 points – Griffith Logan Redbacks (+9)
12 points – Griffith Gold Coast Panthers (-86)