Round 12 had a major effect on the points table with two clear games between fourth and fifth place on the ladder.
With five rounds to play, the top four Dalby, Valleys, Pittsworth and Highfields seem to be jostling for the top two spots whilst Gatton, Wattles and Warwick are wrestling for the remaining two finals positions.
Valleys Roosters v Goondiwindi Boars
Valleys showed no ill-effects of their Madsen Rasmussen win with a resounding win over Goondiwindi at Pillar Street on Saturday night.
The Roosters were without a number of their players allowing young fullback Dylan Chown to stand up and continue his wonderful season, grabbing four tries.
The Boars competed well until halftime and the Roosters shifted to another gear to race away with the match in the second stanza.
Adam Tribe continues to impress for Goondiwindi but it was all Valleys with captain Ryan Stevens making a successful return after suspension and injury joining Marc McGrady who also returned after a lengthy lay off.
Mitch Tuite played well for the Roosters, filling in nicely given the absence of playmakers Brett Seymour and Nathan Bowering.
A GRADE: Valleys 52 (Dylan Chown 4, Aaron Sillitoe, Anisi Finau, Nick Sargent, Mitch Tuite, Johnson Viane, Jock Waters tries; Dylan Adamson 4, Dylan Chown goals) defeated Goondiwindi 10 (Taiton Marchant, Adam Tribe tries; Adam Tribe goal)
RESERVE GRADE: Valleys 50 defeated Goondiwindi 4
UNDER 18: Valleys 20 defeated Goondiwindi 12
Highfields Eagles v Brothers Leprechauns
The Eagles hosted a more than competitive Brothers side, but the Eagles’ gun players ensured the win by racing to a 28-12 halftime lead and went on with it in the second half.
New signings Josh Everett, Zack Loxley and Brayden Mitchell all scored doubles for the Eagles to compensate the loss of captain Nick Bainbridge.
The home side showed they were fresh after the break, especially after their torrid encounter with Dalby the week before.
Brothers have been standing up in the last few weeks given their season is gone.
Mitch Betros led from the front with nice games from senior players Ricky Davies and Micheal Cochrane.
In a bonus, young Austin Jennings scored on debut.
For the Eagles, Zack Loxley had one of his best games of the season with Jarrod Lee at his brilliant best.
Josh Everett continues to impress whilst soccer import Silde Canda scored a meat pie on his debut.
A GRADE: Highfields 54 (Zack Loxley 2, Josh Everett 2, Brayden Mitchell 2, Jake George, Jarrod Lee, Wayne Weribone, Jack Armstrong, Silde Canda tries; Jarred Lee 7 goals) defeated Brothers 28 (Mitch Betros, Sam Betros, Michael Cochrane, Ricky Davies, Austin Jennings tries; Sam Betros 2, William Squires 2 goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Brothers 28 defeated Highfields 14
UNDER 18: Highfields 34 defeated Brothers 12
Pittsworth Danes v Warwick Cowboys
The Warwick Cowboys travelled to Club Pittsworth on Saturday night and found a very determined and well-drilled Pittsworth side.
The first half had its moments, filled with ferocious defence and a sprinkling of dropped ball.
The Cowboys were in the game right up to their necks, but the turning point was on the stroke of halftime when the Danes capitalised on a Cowboys mistake to score and take an 18-6 lead heading into the sheds. Warwick never recovered.
They threw everything at Pittsworth, especially Mick Bloomfield, but just could not penetrate the Danes’ defence.
Pittsworth led 30-16 until Warwick scored a late consolation try.
The Danes’ Alex Kahler had his best game of his career and really stood up in quality company.
He orchestrated a number of tries and scored a double himself.
Kahler is a good foil for Dempsey and York and takes the pressure off their major ball players.
Daniel York continued to show why he is the best in the competition in his position and Tom O’Sullivan continued his stellar season.
Young Cowboys flyer, Kai Etherington was excellent in his debut in a beaten side and Craig Donn also tried hard for Warwick but they just couldn’t crack the defending premiers.
A GRADE: Pittsworth 30 (Alex Kahler 2, Patrick MacDonald, Jeff Weber, Braydon Gibbs tries; Alex Sinclair 5 Goals) defeated Warwick 20 (Craig Donn Kai Etherington, Dylan Galloway tries; Dan Watson 2 goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Pittsworth 28 defeated Warwick 12
UNDER 18: Warwick 44 defeated Pittsworth 0
SECOND DIVISION: Pittsworth 30 defeated Warwick 14
TRL's QLD Rangers representatives: Jason Wardrop, Steve Franciscus and Matt Duggan
Southern Suburbs Tigers v Wattles Warriors
The Souths Tigers added life into the TRL competition with a good win over Wattles in the Hutchies Match of the Round.
Tigers’ Dwayne Duncan was the Hutchies Player of the Match as he was in everything and was dangerous all game.
His control of the match typified the momentum of the match.
The Tigers certainly put a warning out to the rest of the competition given they’re still mathematically a chance of playing finals football.
Wattles were their own worst enemy as their game plan strayed, making good yards up the middle but failing to capitalise.
Duncan was brilliant with excellent, pin-placed kicks and his man of the match performance was finished with a 40-20 kick right on fulltime.
He relished leading his team in Daniel Holmes’ absence and was the difference between the two sides.
Wattles squared the game at 16-16 early in the second half with winger Max Rubie their best, but the Tigers’ completion rate in the second half put them over the line to grab the two competition points.
Wattles see the return of Queensland Rangers star Matt Duggan next week, but still have some work to do if they are to be a force in the Hutchies TRL competition.
Souths’ Tom Landers won the Toowoomba Sports Club Play of the Day with his efforts setting up three-try hero Dylan Collins and his inspirational try-saving tackle on Wattles’ Michael Duggan late in the game.
A GRADE: Souths 36 (Dylan Collins 3, Jesse De Veth, Dwayne Duncan, Clayton Flute, Luke Nolan, Jacob Whittaker tries; Luke Nolan 4 goals) defeated Wattles 22 (Jarred Bradfield, Ryan Duggan, Ty Gardner, Jackson Green tries; Ryan Duggan 3 goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Souths 18 defeated Wattles 16
UNDER 18: Souths 82 defeated Wattles 6
Oakey Bears v Gatton Hawks
The Gatton Hawks flexed their muscles with a convincing second half inspired win over the Oakey Bears.
The Bears held the Hawks to 16-16 at halftime but the Hawks piled on the points in the second half.
Shannon Hicks, Billy Jackwitz, Daniel Marsh and Callum Woolacott were Gatton’s best whilst Josh Robinson, Arron Cherry, Lachie Berlin and Josh Stanton were the Bears’ best.
Gatton co-coach Mick-John Harch praised his side but said they have plenty of work to do if they are to threaten the top teams.
The Hawks were without captain Dennis Burgoyne and stalwart Mark Swan and face the ladder-leading Dalby Diehards at home next Saturday night.
A GRADE: Gatton 9 (Josh Belz 2, Riley Godwin 2, Dom Haak 2, Francis Han, Billy Jackwitz, Callum Woolacott tries; Callum Woolacott 5, Dom Haak goals; Shannon Hicks field goal) defeated Oakey 16 (Damon Anderson, Jason Lucas, Josh Robinson tries; Jason Lucas, Josh Robinson goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Gatton 66 defeated Oakey 0
UNDER 18: Gatton 36 defeated Oakey 22
In the other TRL Under 18 match, the South Burnett Eagles continue to dominant the second half of the season, defeating the table-topping Dalby Diehards 32-20.
After 12 rounds of competition, these are how the competition ladders stand:
A GRADE: Dalby 20, Valleys 18, Pittsworth 16, Highfields 16, Gatton 12, Warwick 12, Wattles 10, Souths 8, Brothers 4, Oakey 2, Goondiwindi 2
RESERVE GRADE: Gatton 20, Dalby 16, Valleys 15, Highfields 13, Brothers 12, Souths 12, Wattles 10, Warwick 10, Pittsworth 8, Goondiwindi 2, Oakey 2
UNDER 18: Dalby 20, Souths 20, Warwick 19, Valleys 18, South Burnett 17, Highfields 14, Goondiwindi 12, Gatton 12, Brothers 5, Pittsworth 5, Wattles 2, Oakey 0
SECOND DIVISION: Gatton 10, Pittsworth 8, Warwick 8, Dalby 4, Brothers 2, Valleys 0
For full results, ladders and upcoming fixtures of the Toowoomba Rugby League, visit the TRL website.