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Easts and Ipswich battle for top two finish

The top four has been decided, all that is left is to decide where they will place in the final round of the SEQW Division 1 competition.

Three-time defending premiers Burleigh wrapped up the minor premiership with a 32-4 win over the Panthers last week, while the Easts Tigers put an end to Souths' finals hopes with a 22-4 victory.

The Magpies had an impressive second half of the season and were a genuine chance of sneaking into the finals, but losses to competition heavyweights Burleigh, Brothers Ipswich and Easts in consecutive weeks means they will finish fifth and miss the finals regardless of this weekend's results.

Round 16 is the last regular season round of 2018, and while Burleigh will finish first and Wests fourth, Easts and Brothers Ipswich will battle it out for a top two finish.

Finishing in second spot would present either Easts or Brothers Ipswich with a major semi-final showdown with the Bears in the first week of finals.

The winner of that game will advance directly to the grand final while the loser gets a second chance, while a third-place finish would mean facing elimination from the first week of finals.

Currently in second place, the Easts Tigers need to beat or draw with the Burleigh Bears this weekend to guarantee a top two finish. Defeat would leave them vulnerable, as Brothers Ipswich would go past them if they can beat the Panthers.

It's a tall order for Easts, as the Bears have won eight of their last nine games and haven't suffered defeat since April 28. Perhaps working in their favour, however, is the fact that it was the Tigers who beat the Bears that day.

Easts too will be without their skipper Karina Brown who suffered a broken jaw in her side's win over Souths last weekend. 

Brothers Ipswich, meanwhile, will take on Wests at home on Sunday. Brothers Ipswich were hit hard during the middle of the season as many players were unavailable through representative commitments, winning just three of eight games through the middle part of the year.

However, as their key players have returned to the fold they have rediscovered their mojo, with three wins on the trot and an opportunity for a top-two finish still alive.

The final match of the round sees Souths Magpies host Toowoomba at Davies Park in what will be the final appearance for both teams this season.

Toowoomba have gone through growing pains during their first season in the top grade, but with immense expansion in the area during recent years, 2018 is sure to be a valuable tool as they continue to develop.

Souths will be rueing their slow start to the season, where they won just one of their first five games.

That slow start had them constantly chasing their tails in 2018, but despite falling short of the finals, their impressive form in the mid-late period of the regular season will give them plenty of confidence heading into next season.

SEQW Division 1 Round 16 fixtures

Souths Magpies v Toowoomba; Sunday July 22 at Davies Park, 1pm

Easts Tigers v Burleigh Bears; Sunday July 22 at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park, 3pm

Brothers Ipswich v West Brisbane Panthers; Sunday July 22 at Blue Ribbon Motors Field, 4.30pm

SEQW Division 1 Ladder   
1. Burleigh Bears  38  +224 
2. Easts Tigers  35  +108 
3. Brothers Ipswich  33  +122 
4. West Brisbane Panthers  30  +40 
5. Souths Magpies  27  -52 
6. Toowoomba  17  -442 

Full results, standings and fixtures for all three divisions of SEQW competitions