The In Safe Hands Cup has a new competition leader after the Panthers suffered a shock 50-6 loss at the hands of the Tigers in Round 12.
Unbeaten in their past seven games, the Dolphins are now one point clear of the Panthers who slip to second while the Seagulls and Diehards are equal third on 24 points.
Easts, who handed the Panthers their crucial loss this week, remain outside the four on 21 points after their third win on the trot, but have now distanced themselves from bottom placed Souths and after another emphatic statement they are knocking on the door of finals.
It only took one-and-a-half minutes for the first points to be registered when Tigers fullback Brett Kelly fielded a kick from Panther Kane Zalewski.
Kelly was electric in broken play, weaving his way up Kev McKell Oval and linking with support players. Brought down just 10 metres out from the line, Kelly jumped back into dummy half and found Brayden Torpy, who kicked to the in goal for winger Rahkeem Auda to pounce.
Wests hit back five minutes later as Zalewski found winger Obed Karwhin unmarked out wide. Zalewski converted to put the Panthers front 6-4.
Ther were 12 minutes of end-to-end footy that followed, before the Tigers' Jack Anderson broke the game open with a pair of tries in the 21st and 33rd minute. The confidence of the Tigers received a boost and with a 16-6 lead at the break, they took total control in the second half.
Anton Iaria crossed for a double before Tigers halfback Josh Ralph went through a gap to set up Auda's second of the day, taking the score out to 32-6 in favour of the Tigers.
Then a contender for the try of the year. A loose Panther pass was toed forward by prop Iaria and Connor Jones then had a follow up kick that threatened the sideline if not for the soccer skills of right winger Brandon Downey.
Jones again had two more kicks through before forcing downward pressure to score a glorious rugby league / soccer try. Tries to Brett Kelly and a third to Jack Anderson saw the score swell for the Tigers.
"You go into games with game plans and how you want it to come out and today we executed the game plan," Tigers coach David Krause said.
"We came here with things we wanted to do, and every guy did their job today. Our attack comes on the back of our defence. We'll score points, but we have to make sure our defence is good to do that."
A disappointed Panthers coach Wayne Weekes bemoaned his side's attitude, with the big loss costing them top spot.
"You can be the best defensive side in the competition, but if you don't play with the right attitude you pay the price, and that's what happened out there today."
Over at Emerson Park, the Diehards held onto their top four spot with a 24-12 win over the Magpies, while Redcliffe got the job done 14-10 over the Bayside Seagulls at Dolphin Oval.
In Safe Hands Cup BRL A Grade Round 12 results
Diehards 24 (Stephen Coombe 2, Callum Klein, Patrick Akauola tries; Jacob Kelly 3 goals, Mattais Heimuli goal) defeated Magpies 12 (Josh Tuilagi, Manaia Cherrington tries; Tanah Boyd 2 goals)
Tigers 50 (Jack Anderson 3, Anton Iaria 2, Rahkeem Auda 2, Brett Kelly, Connor Jones tries; Brayden Torpy 7 goals) defeated Panthers 6 (Obed Kharwin try; Kane Zalewski goal)
Dolphins 14 (Mosese Pangi, Corban Daniels, Jordan Pinnock tries; Reece Braun goal) defeated Seagulls 10 (Harlan Collins, Adrian Elder tries; Brad Mana goal)
|In Safe Hands Cup|
*John Devine is a QRL correspondent covering the BRL A Grade competition