A couple of upsets at the weekend has shown the TRL season is wide open with five rounds to play.
The Gatton Hawks defeated Dalby convincingly at home on Saturday whilst Wattles also announced their intentions with an excellent and hard-fought win over defending premiers, Pittsworth.
Meanwhile, Brothers showed some fight scaring Valleys but the Roosters held on to win by a converted try and join Dalby on the top of the ladder.
Gatton Hawks v Dalby Diehards
Competition leaders Dalby succumbed to a determined Gatton Hawks at the Cahill Sporting Complex on Saturday night in the upset of the season.
The Hawks reminded the competition they are well and truly a force to be reckoned with.
Their gun players all performed with Callum Woolacott, Dominic Haak and captain Dennis Burgoyne leading from the front.
It was Burgoyne’s first game back after a lengthy layoff from a foot injury and his first touches laid the platform.
You could see his presence lifted the Hawks.
Haak returned to five-eighth and his combination with Woolacott was instrumental in the win, leading to his player of the match selection.
They combined very well to let outside backs Cam Nicholls and Josh Belz capitalise, especially in the first half, seeing the Hawks race to a 22-0 lead at halftime.
Dalby came out of the sheds firing and scored the first two tries in the second stanzato get to 22-12.
Both sides took the field without gun players; Eli Wickham, Mitch and Dylan Taylor and Zac Morris were missing for Dalby whilst the Hawks were without Billy Jackwitz and Mark Swan but they coped the better and finished the game better than the Diehards.
Danny Wassell and Xavier Manley played well for Dalby but Gatton were good right across the park and their possession rate was excellent.
The Hawks played like a team that had nothing to lose and really put it to the Diehards.
Their mistake rate was very good as was their kick and chase which contributed a long way to their field position throughout the match.
It was one of the games of the season and certainly the upset of the year.
A GRADE: Gatton 30 (Josh Belz 2, Robbie Fletcher, Shannon Hicks, Jack Pender tries; Callum Woolacott 4, Shannon Hicks goal) defeated Dalby 12 (Alex Ambia, Daniel Wassell tries; Jed Bryers, Xavier Manley goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Gatton 34 defeated Dalby 8
UNDER 18: Dalby 44 defeated Gatton 18
SECOND DIVISION: Gatton 36 defeated Dalby 20
Warwick Cowboys v Southern Suburbs Tigers
Southern Suburbs continued their late run to the finals with an impressive win away from home against Warwick.
The Tigers raced to a 18-0 halftime lead and laid the foundation for a shutout of Warwick except for a late consolation try to Dion Galloway.
Dwayne Duncan continued where he left off last week with another player of the match performance, guiding Souths to the big win.
A GRADE: Souths 23 (Dylan Collins, Sam Cocker, Tom Landers, Tyrell McCullagh tries; Dwayne Duncan 3 goals; Dwayne Duncan field goal) defeated Warwick 4 (Dion Galloway try)
RESERVE GRADE: Warwick 26 defeated Souths 14
UNDER 18: Warwick 34 defeated Souths 22
Goondiwindi Boars v Highfields Eagles
Forgotten winger Aaron Hooper reminded the competition he was still around, scoring four tries in a resounding win in Goondiwindi.
Highfields completely dominated the game, opposite to their lacklustre first round performance against the Boars.
Highfields went into the match without playmaker Jarrod Lee but captain Nick Bainbridge returned after missing last week and played well to lead his side to a deserved win.
Boars’ Carl Clement and Stewart Lowe continue to be the shinning lights in their rebuilding year as was Will Carter, who also dug deep for Goondiwindi.
A GRADE: Highfields 44 (Aaron Hooper 4, Conor Nolan 2, Josh Everett, Sean Hamel tries; Brayden Mitchell 6 goals) defeated Goondiwindi 10 (Craig Sharpley, Adam Tribe tries; Adam Tribe goal)
RESERVE GRADE: Highfields 46 defeated Goondiwindi 6
UNDER 18: Highfields 12 defeated Goondiwindi 10
Brothers Leprechauns v Valleys Roosters
Brothers put a scare in the Roosters camp, nearly pulling off another upset of the season.
They mixed it with Valleys and were 30-30 with only a couple of minutes to go until Travis Turnbull scored late to clinch the game for the Roosters.
Turnbull was the difference for the Roosters, scoring four tries.
Brothers’ Brandon Kerr scored a hattrick with Michael and Marcus Cochrane scoring tries to assist the Brethren play a game showcasing their lost form.
It was an interesting result especially given Valleys had been in such superb form but Brothers had shown glimpses of what they can do this season but have failed to put 80 minutes together consistently.
The performance also showed all is not lost in this year’s season for Brothers.
Valleys cannot be disgraced as Brothers played very well and the Roosters showed plenty of character to get across the line in the end.
A GRADE Valleys 36 (Travis Turnbull 4, Dylan Chown, Hnaloan Budden, Ryan Stevens tries; Travis Turnbull 4 goals) defeated Brothers 30 (Brandon Kerr 3, Marcus Cochrane, Michael Cochrane, Thomas Ramsey tries; Sam Betros 2, William Squires goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Valleys 40 defeated Brothers 200
UNDER 18: Valleys 68 defeated Brothers 10
Wattles Warriors v Pittsworth Danes
Wattles joined the Hawks to step up and be noticed at the weekend with a hard-fought win over reigning premiers Pittsworth.
The Warriors surprised the Danes when they raced to a 18-0 lead after 14 minutes with Pittsworth starved of the ball but the Danes fought back well and led 22-18 early in the second half.
It was a seesawing match but Pittsworth’s mistakes at crucial times let them down whereas the Warriors played mistake-free football for most of the match, especially late in the game when it counted.
It was Wattles’ best win of the season given their injury list.
This game was no different with lock Jamie Abbas carried from the field with a suspected broken ankle midway through the second half.
Matt Duggan show his class and positioned his team beautifully.
His defence was also good with him continuingly turning Pittsworth around.
Wattles prop Michael Pearson won the Hutchies Player of the Match whilst Ty Gardner won the Toowoomba Sports Club Play of the Day Award.
The Danes were disappointing and did not finish the game as they have this season.
They lost Nick Snitzerling midway in the second half and seemed to miss him when the Warriors piled on the points.
This was the game that Wattles will look back at this season as their turning point.
A GRADE: Wattles 40 (Brayden Wilson 3, Ty Gardner 2, Ryan Duggan, Liam Ross tries; Matt Duggan 6 goals) defeated Pittsworth 26 (Thomas O’Sullivan 2, Jeff Weber, Braydon Gibbs, Jacob Little tries; Alex Sinclair 3 goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Pittsworth 34 defeated Wattles 30
UNDER 18: Pittsworth 62 defeated Wattles 6
In the other TRL Under 18 match, the South Burnett Eagles continue to make a late charge for the finals with a comprehensive 82-0 victory over the Oakey Bears.
After 13 rounds of competition, these are how the competition ladders stand:
A GRADE: Dalby 20, Valleys 20, Highfields 18, Pittsworth 16, Gatton 14, Wattles 12 Warwick 12, Souths 10, Brothers 4, Oakey 2, Goondiwindi 2
RESERVE GRADE: Gatton 22, Valleys 17, Dalby 16, Highfields 15, Brothers 12, Warwick 12, Souths 12, Wattles 10, Pittsworth 10, Goondiwindi 2, Oakey 2
UNDER 18: Dalby 22, Warwick 21, Valleys 20, Souths 20, South Burnett 19, Highfields 16, Goondiwindi 12, Gatton 12, Pittsworth 7, Brothers 5, Wattles 2, Oakey 0
SECOND DIVISION: Gatton 12, Pittsworth 8, Warwick 8, Dalby 4, Brothers 4, Valleys 0
For full results, ladders and upcoming fixtures of the Toowoomba Rugby League, visit the TRL website.