Panthers extend lead at top of In Safe Hands Cup

Round 6 of the BRL A Grade In Safe Hands Cup produced three outstanding fixtures, all undecided until the final minutes, with Panthers defeating Seagulls, Redcliffe pipping the Magpies and the Diehards holding off the Tigers.

All three games were high quality, but perhaps the game of the round was the top-of-the-table battle between the Panthers and the Seagulls, which ended 36-28 in favour of the Panthers.

Bayside Seagulls wasted no time in getting the scoreboard moving, scoring within 90 seconds of the kick off.

Five-eighth John Te Re hit left centre Mitch McMillan with a cut-out pass to post opening points.

The Panthers hit back in the 9th minute when a Kane Zalewski cross field kick landed in the arms of winger Sam Collins who scored an unconverted try.

Minutes later, the Panthers were in front thanks to some outstanding lead-up work by Che Fa'Lafi and Zach Strasser who combined to put Collins across the line again.

The lead changed again shortly after, as Seagulls hooker Kalolo Saitaua darted out of dummy half to score, but it would only last three minutes as 2017 Player of the Year Kyle van Klaveren shimmied his way through three Gulls defenders to cross in the corner.

Momentum continued to shift rapidly as Te Reo put Jayden Berrell through a gap. Berrell offloaded to Tumoana Halkyard to put the visitors back in front 16-12.

Just when the crowd was ready to take a break from an explosive 39 minutes, more was to come before the break.

A Berrell kick was charged down by the dynamic Panthers back-rower Billy Rogers, followed by a favourable bounce. Rogers set sail straight for the tryline and finally the first half came to an end with the Panthers ahead 20-16.

It took 13 minutes in the second stanza for the scoreboard to change as Saitaua went for another dummy half scoot and bagged his double to put the Seagulls back in front.

Ten minutes later a Te Reo grubber to the in goal found Corey Davis charging through to touch down and extend the visitors lead to 28-20.

Right centre Fa'Lafi had been running amuck all day by putting team-mates inside and out through gaps, however, this time he did it for himself to cross in the right corner, beating five defenders along the way and cutting the lead to two.

The lead changed for the sixth time shortly after when Mitch Hallinan regathered a kick and fed the ball to Jamie Olds who scored and put the Panthers in front.

Panthers put an exclamation point on a dramatic contest when Dom Biondi made use of the right upright, crashing over to end the contest 36-28.

Panthers coach Wayne Weekes was relieved after the game and despite being happy with a win which keeps his team at the top of the ladder, he conceded there is still room for improvement.

"A lot of fellers contributed as a group and that's where we're at, at the moment, everyone's contributing," he said.

"We didn't show a lot of patience in attack in the first half, and to be honest, the second half as well. We were lacking a bit of control and patience, plus a we were a little panicky around good ball zones."

Elsewhere, Diehards defeated the Tigers by spreading the ball inside their own half as the siren went, eventually scoring in the corner to win 30-24.

Finally, Redcliffe came from behind to defeat the Magpies 18-16. The game-winning conversion sailing through the posts as the siren sounded.

BRL A Grade In Safe Hands Cup Round 6 resultsĀ 

Diehards 30 (Alex Bishop 3, Tom Collins, Regan Glynn tries; Jack Miers 5 goals defeated Tigers 24 (Jack Anderson 2, Joe Bond, Evander Cummins tries; Harry Pondekas 4 goals)

Panthers 36 (Sam Collins 2, Kyle Van Klaveren, Billy Rogers, Dominic Biondi, James Olds, Che Marion-Faalafi tries; Kyle Van Klaveren 2 goals, Kane Zalewski 2 goals) defeated Seagulls 28 (Kalolo Saitaua 2, Corey Davis, Tumoana Halkyard, Mitch Mc Millan tries; Jacob Tonge 4 goals)

Dolphins 18 (Reece Brawn, Trai Fuller, Jordan Pinnock tries; Reece Brawn 3 goals) defeated Magpies 16 (Cameron Booth, Justin Fai, Sam Elliott tries; Brad Frith 2 goals)

* John Devine is the BRL A Grade correspondent for the QRL