The West Brisbane Panthers have regained top spot on the In Safe Hands Cup ladder by defeating the Redcliffe Dolphins 28-22.
After going unbeaten for seven consecutive rounds, the Dolphins have now tasted defeat in consecutive weeks while the Panthers broke a two-game losing streak of their own.
Redcliffe were the first to cross the chalk with halfback Josh Fauid gliding his way through the Panthers defence from 10 metres out in the 7th minute.
Minutes later came one of the more unusual tries of the season as Panthers right winger James Olds took a high ball five metres from his own try line.
From there, he busted through the defence to motor up to the half way line where he was met by Dolphins fullback Trai Fuller.
Fuller used the opportunity for a one-on-one strip to wrestle the football from Olds and headed back in the opposite direction to score a remarkable try for the Dolphins.
Olds got himself a try shortly after when he was the beneficiary of a blindside play by Mikaere Beattie, opening the account for the visitors.
That break through led to more points, with quick hands to the left leading to a Sam Collins try, while skipper Troy Swift put the Panthers in front with a hit and spin close to the line resulting in another try.
The lead would be short lived, however, as the bearded wrecking ball Jordan Pinnock left his mark on the Panthers defence. Pinnock took a charge from a drop-out, smashed through the first line then carried half Beattie under the cross bar to put the Phins back in front, 16-12.
Momentum continued to see-saw as utility Dom Biondi put the Panthers back in front when he charged over next to the posts, while Beattie set up Swift's double on the stroke of halftime to give the visitors a handy six-point lead.
Points flowed in the first half, but the second half was a much grittier affair. A nifty ball back inside from Fauid found Tony Tomusa, leading to a try which got the Dolphins within two-points and back in the contest mid-way through the second half.
With four minutes remaining and the game in the balance, Beattie again came up with the decisive play, setting up Gavin Causer to score out wide, sealing the win and top spot on the In Safe Hands Cup ladder.
Elsewhere in Round 14 action, the Seagulls moved to outright third with a 34-20 victory over Valleys Diehards at Kitchener Park, while on Sunday the Magpies made it back-to-back wins with a hard-fought 22-18 win over the Tigers.
Souths are now just the one point behind the fifth placed Tigers, with both clubs needing to win all of their remaining games to a chance of featuring in this year's finals series.
In Safe Hands Cup Round 14 Results
Panthers 28 (Troy Swift 2, Sam Collins, James Olds, Gavin Causer, Dominic Biondi tries; Kyle Van Klaveren 2 goals) defeated Dolphins 22 (Trai Fuller, Tony Tumusa, Josh Fauid, Jordan Pinnock tries; Reece Braun a goal, Manaia Rudolph 2 goals)
Seagulls 34 (Brad Mana 2, Elliot Davis 2, Matt Milson, Ngarima Pita, Josh Hoffman tries; Adrian Elder 3 goals) defeated Diehards 20 (Stacey Everitt, Tom Collins, Jacob Kelly, Jordan Mitchell tries; Brett Doherty 1, Jacob Kelly 1 goal)
Magpies 22 (Luke Archer, William Samuel, Justin Fai tries; Sato Ketia-Opo 4 goals) defeated Tigers 18 (Brandon Downey, Brayden Torpy, Jarred Tuite tries; Brayden Torpy 3 goals)
|In Safe Hands Cup Ladder|
*John Devine is a QRL correspondent covering the BRL A Grade competition