The Wattles Warriors have shown they are the real deal with an upset win over league leaders Dalby in Clifton at the weekend.
In other matches, Gatton were brutal at home defeating Highfields in the battles of the birds and Pittsworth, Souths and Warwick scored big wins to help their for-and-against points.
With three rounds to go, the competition is still wide open and any of the top eight sides can win the title.
Warwick Cowboys v Oakey Bears
The Warwick Cowboys put a message out to the rest of the competition that they are still hanging around with an empathetic win over an injury-savaged Oakey Bears on Saturday night.
Mick Bloomfield returned for the Cowboys after a week off with the flu and scored a hat-trick of tries.
Dan Watson kicked 10 goals and also played very well.
For Oakey; Aaron Cherry, Josh Stanton and Jeremy Long never stopped trying whilst Brayden Schilf made his A Grade debut for the Bears.
A GRADE: Warwick 72 (Mick Bloomfield 3, Mitch Watson 3, Dion Galloway 2, Coen Martin-Brown, Brad Morrish, Josh O’Brien, Darren Pettiford, Josh Cruice tries; Dan Watson 10 goals) defeated Oakey 4 (Josh Stanton try)
RESERVE GRADE: Warwick 58 defeated Oakey 6
UNDER 18: Warwick 80 defeated Oakey 0
Brothers Leprechauns v Southern Suburbs Tigers
Brothers and Souths played for the Brett Johnson Memorial trophy at Glenhome Park on Saturday night.
Souths had plenty to play for but both sides turned up for this prestigious trophy,
In poor conditions, the Tigers got the better of Brothers but the score did not indicate the game.
Tigers’ Dwayne Duncan was Souths’ best closely followed by Matt Holmes who had is best game in the top grade.
Brothers kept turning up and captain Mitch Betros led by example whilst veteran Ray Duncan steered his troops well.
The score was 24-0 at halftime with Souths going on with it in the second half, keeping their finals hopes alive.
RESERVE GRADE: Brothers 22 defeated Souths 16
UNDER 18: Souths 54 defeated Brothers 20
Goondiwindi Boars v Pittsworth Danes
Pittsworth travelled to Goondiwindi to keep their top two aspirations alive.
The Danes were very convincing with Kabu Kofe, Blake Cullen and Patrick MacDonald the best for Pittsworth.
The Boars tried hard all day with Matt Galvin, Stewart Lowe, Jake Thomas and Levi Wilson never giving up.
It was an important win for the Danes with top four or top two spots in their sights.
A GRADE: Pittsworth 54 defeated Goondiwindi 4
RESERVE GRADE: Pittsworth 32 defeated Goondiwindi 22
UNDER 18: Pittsworth 28 defeated Goondiwindi 22
Wattles Warriors v Dalby Diehards
In the surprise of the round. Wattles stamped themselves as real premiership threats, sending a message to the rest of the competition with a convincing win over Dalby at Clifton.
Michael Pearson and Matthew Duggan were very good for Wattles and laid the platform for the win which puts a shutter throughout the competition.
Wattles led 12-10 at halftime and scored four unanswered tries to send the early season favourites back to the drawing board.
Dan Manley and Danny Wassell toiled hard for the Diehards but it was all Duggan as he led his side to victory.
His presence has certainly done the trick for Wattles.
Dalby had no answers for Wattles.
Their defence let them down and are certainly a shadow of their early season form.
Wattles are the real deal and with players coming back from injury, they will give the premiership a big shake but they are no certainties with a bye next week then Highfields away and Valleys at home.
Dalby will meet fellow last round losers Highfields next round followed by Goondiwindi and Brothers which should see them secure a top-two spot and winning games heading into the finals should help.
A GRADE: Wattles 36 (Braydon Wilson, Ryan Duggan, Josh Henry, Joe Morris, Michael Pearson, Brenden Wilson tries; Matt Duggan 6 goals) defeated Dalby 10 (Eli Wickham, Zac Morris tries; Zac Morris goal)
RESERVE GRADE: Dalby 26 defeated Wattles 6
UNDER 18: Dalby 68 defeated Wattles 6
Gatton Hawks v Highfields Eagles
In the Hutchies Match of the Round, Gatton came from behind just after halftime to beat third-placed Highfields, 28-20, in the battle of the birds at Cahill Park Sporting Complex.
Highfields certainly looked the goods in the first half leading 10-0 then 14-6 early in the second half but a lack of possession due to fundamental mistakes let the Hawks scoot away with the game.
The Hawks led 28-14 at one stage in the second half before the Eagles scored a consolation try right on fulltime.
Allan “Monster” Morris had his best game of the season and scored two crucial tries in the second half to spur the Hawks to a crucial win late in the season.
Morris won the Toowoomba Sports Club Play of the Day award for his two-try effort whilst Hawks’ halfback Josh Ryan won the Hutchies Man of the Match.
Ryan had his best game of the season mainly due to his combination with five-eight Dom Haak which he is relishing.
Highfields coach Gus Mackellar agreed that his team made errors at crucial times but thought his centres Braydon Mitchell and Josh Everett played well, whilst Josh Bainbridge had his best game of the season.
Both teams have tough games to end the season.
Gatton are on a bit of a roll and have a bye next round with Pittsworth away and Souths at home standing in their way of finals footy but this win went a long way to securing their berth.
Highfields, irrespective of the win, seem destined for the finals but have fellow finals aspirants; Dalby, Wattles and Warwick before they even think of finals.
A GRADE: Gatton 28 (Josh Belz 2, Allan Morris 2,Shannon Hicks tries; Callum Woolacott 4 goals) defeated Highfields 20 (Sean Hamel 2, Aaron Hooper 2 tries; Braydon Mitchell 2 goals
RESERVE GRADE: Gatton 58 defeated Highfields 6
UNDER 18: Gatton 28 defeated Highfields 6
In the other TRL Under 18 match, the South Burnett Eagles narrowly defeated fourth-placed Valleys 18-12 in Kingaroy on Saturday.
After 15 rounds of competition, these are how the competition ladders stand:
A GRADE: Dalby 22, Valleys 22, Pittsworth 20, Highfields 18, Wattles 16, Gatton 16, Warwick 14, Souths 14, Brothers 4, Oakey 2, Goondiwindi 2
RESERVE GRADE: Gatton 25, Dalby 20, Valleys 18, Brothers 16, Highfields 15, Souths 14, Warwick 14, Wattles 12, Pittsworth 12, Goondiwindi 2, Oakey 2
UNDER 18: Dalby 26, Souths 24, Warwick 23, Valleys 22, South Burnett 21, Highfields 16, Gatton 14, Goondiwindi 12, Pittsworth 11, Brothers 5, Oakey 2, Wattles 2
SECOND DIVISION: Gatton 14, Pittsworth 10, Warwick 8, Dalby 6, Brothers 4, Valleys 0
For full results, ladders and upcoming fixtures of the Toowoomba Rugby League, visit the TRL website.