The Griffith Dragons bounced back with an impressive victory over ACU in the Universities Rugby League Queensland competition last night.
The Dragons’ 36-8 win included a dominating second-half performance, and moved them to just behind leaders the University of Queensland Hounds in the race for the minor premiership.
The Hounds and Dragons are equal first on the ladder with three rounds remaining, with UQ holding a slim four-point advantage on for and against.
With the Dragons leading 16-4 at halftime, Australian Catholic University scored first after the break when hooker Tom Benham snuck over to get his team back in the game.
But the Dragons were way too good from there, rolling in four tries in the final 20 minutes, including a popular four-pointer to prop Joshua Ryan.
The Hounds were forced to come from behind against an improved Queensland University of Technology Trouts at St Lucia.
The Trouts opened with tries to Lachlan Plater and Danyon Pigeon to take a 14-0 lead into halftime.
But the Hounds hit back straight after halftime, and with the help of two tries to centre Jeremiah Lale were able to pull ahead late in the game.
Down at Logan the Griffith Redbacks got themselves back in finals calculations with a comfortable 38-12 win over the Griffith Gold Coast Panthers.
The win was set up with a strong 26-0 first stanza.
The Panthers managed to get on the board in the second half, but the home side went on to snag a victory that gets them off the bottom of the URLQ ladder.
Next Wednesday there will be a Griffith battle between the Dragons and Redbacks at Nathan, The Trouts will travel to the Gold Coast to take on the Panthers, and UQ will host ACU at St Lucia.
URLQ ROUND 7 RESULTS
GRIFFITH DRAGONS 36 (Sean Dermba, Jake Kearnan, Kyle Jones, Jordan Benny, Dean Sheppard, Joshua Ryan, Adam Jessup tries) defeated ACU 8 (Stuard Kunyip, Tom Benham tries) at ACU Campus, Banyo.
UQ HOUNDS 20 (Jeremiah Lale 2, Jesse Domic, Sam Purtill tries; Aaron Werth 2 goals) defeated QUT TROUTS 14 (Lachlan Plater, Danyon Pigeon, Hayden Bartlett tries; Nick Trevisiol goal) at UQ St Lucia Campus.
GRIFFITH LOGAN REDBACKS 38 (Rowan Barnett, Itaru Matsuo, Mason Kelly, Shaun Urquhart, Ben Kelly, Storm Faagase, Jaye Brown tries; Trent Shield 5 goals) defeated GRIFFITH GOLD COAST PANTHERS 12 (Aidan Sydenham, Josh Zweedyk tries; Cody Feltham 2 goals) at Griffith Logan Campus, Meadowbrook.
17 points – UQ Hounds (+98), Griffith Dragons (+94)
14 points – ACU (-16)
13 points – GC Griffith Panthers (-66)
11 points – Griffith Logan Redbacks (-24), QUT Trouts (-82)
Photo: Action photo of the Dragons v ACU game. Credit: Michelle Rundmann