The Griffith Gold Coast Panthers gave the Universities Rugby League Queensland top dogs a mighty scare at Southport last night.
Ladder leaders the QUT Trouts went down the M1 feeling confident about taking on the bottom-placed Panthers.
But that complacency turned to shock when the Panthers led them late into the second half.
The match was tied at 12-12 at halftime, but the Panthers had the better of play, with strong hooker Harry Dickman scoring one of three tries while the Trouts only managed two.
When a botched kick turned into a 70m try against the run of play to Cody Feltham, the Panthers had an 18-12 lead just after halftime.
Trouts hooker’ Owen Johnston cut the deficit to 18-16 when he scored his second of the night nine minutes into the second half.
The Panthers held on until eight minutes to go when another bad kick somehow became a try for the Trouts.
QUT second rower Owen McCarron sealed the 26-18 victory with a 60m intercept effort with four minutes left.
At Nathan, the Griffith Logan Redbacks put the competition on notice with a commanding 38-4 win over the Griffith Dragons.
The win jumped the Redbacks into second place on the ladder with two rounds remaining, as second rower Benjamin Kelly added two more tries to his tally after scoring five last week.
The Redbacks were in control by halftime after Laithan Joseph (8th minute), Liam Groessler (14th), Wesley Liaina (21st) and Kelly (27th) all scored to take a 20-0 lead into the break.
It took until the 59th minute for the Dragons to answer through Matt Butler, but the match was gone.
The URLQ competition will break for next Wednesday’s Ekka holiday before resuming the following week for the run to the September 6 semi-finals.
URLQ ROUND 8
QUT TROUTS 26 (Owen McCarron 2, Owen Johnston 2, Robbie McAfferty tries; Blake Trace 3 goals) defeated GRIFFITH GOLD COAST PANTHERS 18 (Harry Dickman, Nathan Dramon, Cody Feltham tries; Feltham goal) at Owen Park, Southport.
GRIFFITH LOGAN REDBACKS 38 (Benjamin Kelly 2, Wesley Liaina, Samuel Vaughey, Laithan Joseph, Javarn Ratu-Daniel, Liam Groessler tries; AJ Mulitalo 4, Joseph goals) defeated GRIFFITH DRAGONS 4 (Matthew Butler try) at Nathan Campus.
20 points – QUT Trouts (+44)
18 points – Griffith Logan Redbacks (+84)
16 points – ACU (+68)
15 points – Griffith Dragons (-22), UQ Hounds (-34)
12 points – Griffith GC Panthers (-140)