The Sunshine Coast Falcons withstood a spirted comeback from the Souths Logan Magpies to keep their season alive and progress to Week 2 of the Intrust Super Cup finals.
Eventual 26-18 winners, they gave their home fans a scare when they allowed the Magpies to fight back from 22-0 down to almost draw level 22-18 with only seven minutes left in the game.
A late try to centre Chris Lewis in the 77th minute finally gave them breathing space and a win that will see them travel to Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park next week to take on the fellow Melbourne Storm affiliates the Easts Tigers who won their elimination final against Townsville.
The Magpies were left to rue what could have been, with multiple errors at inopportune times gifting their opposition the ball and scoring opportunities.
The Falcons first try though involved the luck of a bouncing ball, with point-scoring winger Matthew Soper-Lawler there to score.
That was followed up 10 minutes later when Ryley Jacks took on the line and burst through to touch down.
Fullback Guy Hamilton’s try and subsequent conversion in the left corner right on the stroke of halftime not only gave them a 16-0 lead, it also rubbed salt into the wounds for the Magpies who had just had a try disallowed.
Travis Waddell thought he had got his side’s first points after a cheeky play from dummy half to dart his way over, only for the video referee to confirm the defence had been impeded with only moments to go until the break.
Things did not get any better for the Magpies straight after the break despite their best efforts, with Scott Drinkwater cutting his way through to push out the lead for the Falcons.
Cue the fightback.
Big Sam Lavea did want he does best and produced a strong run, spinning his way out of tackles to finally get Souths Logan on the board.
Two minutes’ later – Waddell was able to officially claim a try after the Magpies had produced some good ball movement which kept the Falcons guessing.
Some smart play from half Sam Scarlett where he produced a one-on-one strip gave them possession to work on their next try-scoring play.
Five-eighth Matt Minto – who had struggled in the first half – showed the class he is capable of with an impressive grubber behind the line that was pounced on by Scarlett to give Magpies fans hope and make Falcons supporters nervous.
However, it was too late in the end – with Lewis crossing to shut down their comeback attempt and end their 2017 season.
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 26 (Matthew Soper-Lawler, Ryley Jacks, Guy Hamilton, Scott Drinkwater, Christopher Lewis tries; Guy Hamilton 3 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 18 (Sam Lavea, Travis Waddell, Sam Scarlett tries; Jamayne Isaako 3 goals) at Sunshine Coast Stadium.