Pink Panthers upset Tigers

West Brisbane Pink Panthers have upset Easts in the South East Queensland Women's competition and will now face Ipswich Brothers for a spot in the grand final.

The Panthers got the jump on the Tigers 22-12 in the knockout final at Langlands Park, while Burleigh became the first team through to the August 11 decider at Cbus Super Stadium, beating Ipswich Brothers 18-6 at Pizzey Park in the major semi.

The incredible pace of winger Julia Robinson was the standout feature of a passionate encounter, namely after she scored an 80m try that left the crowd in raptures.

Easts got the jump early with a try to Cairns product Frances Whap after just three minutes.

 

In three clashes in fixtures this season, the Tigers won on every occasion, and it looked as though the result was headed that way again.

Yet the Panthers defied expectation with Robinson's first try out wide and another to Shen'e Clemments, taking a 10-4 halftime lead.

With Queensland skipper and pivotal team member Karina Brown watching from the sideline with a broken jaw, Easts fell even further behind when Australian Defence Force representative Robinson picked up a loose pass on the ground with 23 minutes to go.

She single-handedly beat half the Easts team in an electrifying run that put the advantage out to 16-4.

Never one to bow easy, Vanessa Foliaki was an unrelenting powerhouse for the home side and she struck a blow back to make it a 16-8 scoreline.

Inside the final 10 minutes it felt as if the game still rested in the balance, but was put beyond doubt when centre Caitlyn Taleni surged over to jubilant celebrations by the Panthers.

Liamona Theodore jagged one back right on the fulltime hooter for Easts, but the despondent favourites knew time had run out on their 2018 campaign.

In a passionate address on fulltime, Foliaki pulled the Easts squad together and beseeched them to return in 2019 for another tilt at the title.

*(Update) Details of this week's preliminary finals this Saturday (August 4) at Pinklands Oval, (Redlands RLFC, 226 Cleveland Redland Bay Road, Thornlands)are as follows:

Division 1 match between Brothers Ipswich and West Brisbane Panthers will kick off at 4pm
Division 2 match between Murri Taipans and Southport will kick off at 2.45pm
Division 3 match between Brothers Ormeau and Flagstone will kick off at 1.30pm

 

Earlier this week it was announced that the final on August 11 would be played at the home of the Gold Coast Titans and televised on Fox Sports.