The Valleys Roosters are the new TRL premiership favourites after an emphatic win over the Tigers, whilst an amazing game of two halves between Highfields and Dalby saw the Eagles return to form in Round 16 of the Toowoomba Rugby League competition.
Highfields Eagles v Dalby Diehards
In a game of two halves, Highfields came from behind to defeat Dalby 26-22 at a cold Kuhls Road Sports Reserve.
It was the Dalby we know in the first half, simply outclassing Highfields in a dominant display.
The Diehards big three: Jason Wardrop, Xavier Manley and Colin Green continuingly kept Highfields in their own half with ruthless defence.
Highfields had no answers and the Diehards capitalised, scoring three unanswered tries, led by Steve Franciscus.
Dalby led 16-2 at halftime in what was Dalby’s best half of the season.
There must have been something in the water as the complete reversal came in the second half when Jarrod Lee, who wasn’t seen in the first half, entered the game.
His combination with Nick Bainbridge was very impressive.
Lee scored a second half hattrick in a four-try onslaught, which saw the Eagles lead 26-16 at one stage, until a late resurgence from Dalby saw Dylan Taylor make the score 26-22.
A frenzied last seven minutes ended with the Eagles hanging on to win a crucial match.
It was a wakeup call for both sides as lapses nearly cost both sides the win.
It was costly for the Diehards and at the end of weekend, cost them the top spot on the TRL ladder that they have held since Round 2.
The game was certainly a confidence boost for the early season favourites and they welcomed back Lee from the victorious Australian Universities World Cup campaign who definitely had an influence in the win.
A GRADE: Highfields 26 (Jarrod Lee 3, Zack Loxley tries; Jarrod Lee 5 goals) defeated Dalby 22 (Alex Ambia, Steve Franciscus, Mitchell Taylor, Dylan Taylor tries; Zac Morris 3 goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Highfields 16 defeated Dalby 4
Oakey Bears v Pittsworth Danes
In a competitive match, Pittsworth beat Oakey at Trevor Mickleborough Oval on Saturday night.
The Danes led 30-10 at halftime and even though Oakey made a game of it in the second half, Pittsworth were still the dominant team in the end, winning 48-16.
The Bears’ Jason Lucas had his best game to date with good performances from Aaron Cherry and Josh Cann.
Under 18 players, Dylan Crump and Jermaine Dodd made their A grade debuts for Oakey and held their own in the top grade.
Danes’ coach Ian Brackstone praised his side’s win as they were missing a number of their stars.
Daniel Pirie-Thomas played well for Pittsworth as did captain Daniel York and halves Thomas O’Sullivan and James Dempsey.
The win puts the Danes into second place on the TRL ladder at present but a no points bye in the last round means they will need other results to go their way in order to secure a top two spot at season’s end.
A GRADE: Pittsworth 48 (Dom Briggs 2, Jacob Little 2, Bob Brosnan, Thomas O’Sullivan, Tim Phipps, Daniel Pirie-Thomas, Daniel York tries; Alex Sinclair 4 goals) defeated Oakey 16 (Josh Stanton, Jason Lucas, Shane Turl tries; Dylan Crump 2 goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Pittsworth 48 defeated Oakey 6
Southern Suburbs Tigers v Valleys Roosters
The Valleys Roosters reaffirmed their premiership favourites tag with a clinical win over Souths Tigers at Clive Berghofer Stadium on Sunday.
It was 46-6 at halftime in what was a surprise given the importance of the game for the Tigers.
The Roosters were good right across the park with captain Ryan Stevens playing his best game of the season, utilising so many attacking options.
The forwards were also superb, especially Luke Menhinnit playing large minutes and props Steven Rodgers and Johnson Viane.
Young Travis Turnbull scored 30 points with nine goals and three tries and fellow quick men, Dylan Chown and Aaron Sillitoe chimed in, scoring doubles.
The Tigers had no answers but one shining light was the A grade debut of Luke Maiden who played very well in a losing side.
The loss is brutal for Souths and all but kisses their season goodbye, although they can still make the six mathematically whereas Valleys are now on top of the TRL ladder on their own and deserve to be, given their form over the last four weeks.
A GRADE: Valleys 66 (Travis Turnbull 3, Dylan Chown 2, Aaron Sillitoe 2, Steven Rodgers, Ryan Stevens, Reggie Munn, Liam Capewell, Jake Ryals tries; Travis Turnbull 9 goals) defeated Souths 12 (Dwayne Duncan, Conor Pyke tries; Dwayne Duncan 2 goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Souths 30 defeated Valleys 28
In the only TRL Under 18 match at the weekend, Highfields have ended South Burnett’s nine-game unbeaten run, coming from behind to defeat the Eagles 34-30.
After 16 rounds of competition, these are how the competition ladders stand:
A GRADE: Valleys 24, Pittsworth 22, Dalby 22, Highfields 20, Wattles 16, Gatton 16, Warwick 14, Souths 14, Brothers 4, Oakey 2, Goondiwindi 2
RESERVE GRADE: Gatton 25, Dalby 20, Valleys 18, Highfields 17, Souths 16, Brothers 16, Warwick 14, Pittsworth 14, Wattles 12, Goondiwindi 2, Oakey 2
UNDER 18: Dalby 26, Souths 24, Warwick 23, Valleys 22, South Burnett 21, Highfields 18, 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.