Round 9 of the BRL A Grade In Safe Hands Cup has seen the Panthers cement their spot at the top of the ladder with a big win over the Magpies, while the Dolphins knocked over Valleys, and the Seagulls won a thriller against the Tigers.
In what was the game of the round, the Bayside Seagulls hosted the Tigers on Sunday afternoon at Kougari Oval.
Easts were first to register points on the scoreboard. A Brayden Torpy cross-field kick in the seventh minute found its mark for left-wing speedster Brandon Downey to apply downward pressure.
Torpy's halves partner, Josh Ralph, went to the air in the other direction 13-minutes later and the high-flying centre Connor Jones soared above two Baysiders to extend the lead to 10-0.
It would take 25 minutes for the Seagulls to cross when Adrian Elder decided to take a page out of the Tigers' book, launching the ball into the air from 30m out.
An error from Easts allowed the ball to roll free as Harlan Collins collected it and stumbled the remaining 8m to touch down.
Easts may not have wanted the breather, as they struggled after taking leads into the break this season.
It proved to be on the cards again as 90-seconds after the restart the Seagulls were over through giant benchman Tamati Ioane who smashed over from a metre out. Unlike Samson, Ioane's recent trip to the barber had no effect on his strength as he banked his first four-pointer of the year.
Minutes later, the Seagulls used a grubber kick into the forest of legs. A rebound off an Easts player's leg saw fullback Mitch Milson regather but there was still Tiger traffic in the way.
A short offload to Elder was followed by a speculator pass to the far left for Leonard Baker who stepped off his left to beat the Tigers cover defence to finally reach the tryline giving Bayside an 18-12 lead.
The Tigers kept fighting and prop Gene Ropoama muscled his way to within 10. Jack Walters would score on the following play to draw scores level with 25 minutes left on the clock.
Bayside regained the lead when a grubber to the in-goal found Jack Goodsell for a four-point lead. The Seagulls held on for the last 15 minutes, with the Tigers slumping to another loss.
The win keeps Bayside in third on the ladder. Elsewhere, the Panthers continued to show why they lead this competition with a 54-16 win over the Magpies while the Dolphins came from behind to defeat defending premiers Valleys for the second time this season.
The 28-20 win keeps them just one point behind the competition leading Panthers, while Valleys are in fourth.
The In Safe Hands Cup will have another bye this coming weekend due to the QRL State Carnival taking place at Owen Park, Gold Coast, this weekend.
BRL A Grade In Safe Hands Cup Round 9 Results
Dolphins 28 (Trai Fuller, Tristan Hope, Jordan Pinnock, Tauaalo Vaipulu, Josh Fauid tries; Reece Braun 4 goals) defeated Diehards 20 (Tom Collins 2, Callum Klein tries; Jack Miers 4 goals)
Panthers 54 (Jamie Olds 2, Zach Strasser 2, Kyle Van Klaveren, Sam Collins, Kennedy Pettyborne, Troy Swift, Billy Rogers, Dominic Biondi tries; Kyle Van Klaveren 7 goals) defeated Magpies 16 (Cody McIntosh 2, Bernard Mosby tries; Brad Frith 2 goals)
Seagulls 22 (Jack Goodsell, Harlan Collins, Leonard Baker, Tamati Ioane tries; Mitch Mc Millian 3 goals) defeated Tigers 18 (Brandon Downey, Jack Walters, Connor Jones, tries; Brayden Torpy 3 goals)
|BRL A Grade In Safe Hands Cup Ladder|
* John Devine is a QRL correspondent covering the BRL A Grade