BRL In Safe Hands Cup Round 17 preview

With just four weeks left in the In Safe Hands Cup, all six teams are alive and fighting for their place in the semi-finals.

The top three teams are separated by one competition point and the final make-up of the top four is unlikely to be resolved until the final whistle of the season's final game.

The Panthers are holding on to top spot with the Seagulls and Redcliffe Dolphins locked in a tie for second.

The Gulls and Redcliffe face off this weekend, so the winner could not only take a definitive hold of second spot, but should the Panthers go down to the Tigers, they will also assume the competition lead.

On the other hand, a draw at Dolphin Stadium and a win to the Tigers would see a three-way tie at the top of the ladder.

Just as fascinating is the battle for fourth. Despite spending the entire season outside of the top four, the Tigers and Magpies have ignored the naysayers and continue to remain challengers for finals football.

The defending premiers, Valleys, currently hold fourth spot, but that spot is suddenly on shaky ground after three consecutive losses and with Souths and Easts within striking distance.

The Magpies have been the talk of the competition of late with wins over Redcliffe, West Brisbane and Easts and a nail-biting two-point loss to the Seagulls in their last four appearances.

The Tigers' win last week against Valleys got them back on track, while the Diehards haven't managed to pick up a win since beating Redcliffe in Round 13.

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First up in Round 17 sees the Panthers travelling to Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park to take on the Tigers at 2pm on Saturday.

West Brisbane will look to turn the tables on Easts who put 50-points on the competition leaders last time they met in Round 12.

A win is vital for both clubs, perhaps more so the Tigers, as a loss to will mean almost certainly end their finals hopes, but the Panthers need wins in order to fend off the Dolphins and Seagulls and finish as high on the ladder as possible.

The match of the round will be held on Saturday at Dolphin Stadium from 4.15pm when Redcliffe take on the Seagulls.

The Seagulls have been in outstanding form and many punters are likely to see them as favourites again this week.

Seagulls coach Ron Troutman has the same side that did a job on the Panthers last week, with the exception of Semisi Ahoafi.

For Redcliffe, they have a similar starting side, but to bounce back and possibly retake top spot, they'll focus on the old cliché that the battle has to be won in the forwards.

Finally, on Sunday afternoon, the Magpies will look to continue their destructive ways as they host the Diehards.

Souths are full of confidence and take on a Valleys side who have lost their way recently and are staring down the barrel of a fourth loss on the trot.

For Souths, 'if ain't broke, don't fix it'. They have found a winning formula that will not be altered, fearing no one as they continue their late season surge.

With their season on the line they will be hard to stop, but the premiers have been in this position before and despite being down on form recently, know how to get it done in pressure situations.

It would be ill-advised to rule out Liam Herrington and his henchmen who will be desperate to reinvigorate their title defence will the finals on the horizon.

BRL A Grade In Safe Hands Cup Round 17

Tigers v Panthers – Suzuki Stadium, Saturday, August 4 - 2pm
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Tigers

1. Brett Kelly 2. Brandon Downey 3. Connor Jones 4. Leon Ellia-Nuikore 5. Rahkeem Auda 6. Josh Ralph 7. Brayden Torpy 8. Anton Iaria 9. Jack Walters 10. Heath Wilson 11. Adam Crear 12. Harry Pondekas 13. Jared Tuite 14. Hayden Elsebach 15. Jaiyden Hunt 16. Te Rore Puke 17. Gene Ropoama

Coach: David Krause

Panthers

1. Gavin Causer 2. Campbell Mohr 3. Kennedy Pettyborne 4. Sam Collins 5. James Olds 6. Kyle Van Klaveren Kane Zalewski 7. Mikaere Beattie 8. Hemi Mullen 9. Adam Harris 10. Ethan Bullemor 11. Jordan Riki 12. Billy Rogers 13. Michael Molo 16. Henry Togiasua 17. Drae Aiono 18. Ethan Marrinan 19. Troy Swift

Coach: Wayne Weekes

Dolphins v Seagulls – Dolphin Oval, Saturday, August 4 - 4.15pm
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Dolphins

1. Tony Tumusa 2. Justice Utatao 3. Jeremy Hawkins 4. Mosese Pangai 5. Will Partridge 6. Reece Braun 7. Josh Fauid 8. Bailey Butler 9. Tristan Hope 10. Jordan Pinnock 11. Agassi Stowers Corban Daniels 12. James Flack 13. Sheldon Pitama 14. Tauaalo Vaipulu 15. Ben King 16. Corban Daniels 17. Sam Leach

Coach: Daniel Green

Seagulls

1. Matthew Milson 2. Peter Gubb 3. Brad Mana 4. Harlan Collins 5. Tumoana Halkyard 6. John Te Reo Mitchell 7. Adrian Elder 8. Billy Solah 9. Kalolo Saitaua 10. Junior Pita 11. Kelly Tate 12. Mitchell Frei 13. Joshua Hoffman 14. Corey Davis 15. Braden Collins 16. Jacob Paulo 17. Jaz Nahu-Main

Coach: Ron Troutman

Magpies v Diehards – Davies Park, Sunday, August 5 - 3pm

Magpies

1. Javarn White 2. Henry Pritchard 3. David Pritchard 4. Cameron Booth 5. Luke Archer 6. Sato Ketia-Opo 7. Dray Ngatuere-Wroe 8. Rhys Melville 9. Savaan Tahere 10. Will Samuel 11. Matty Brown 12. Justin Fai 13. Sam Elliott 14. Tanah Boyd 15. Jesse Matafeo 16. Cody Mc Intosh 17. Jordan Mago

Coach: Steve Bretherton

Diehards

1. Gerome Burns 2. Tom Collins 3. John Collins 4. Callum Klein 5. Stacey Everitt 6. Brett Doherty 7. Gary Riccardi 8. Stephen Coombe 9. Chris Aiton 10. Liam Herrington 11. Iain Riccardi 12. Moses Noovao-Mc Greal 13. Dalton Phillips 14. Jordon Mitchell 15. Mattais Heimuli 16. Jacob Kelly 17. Regan Glynn

Coach: Don Gailer

In Safe Hands Cup Ladder   
1. Panthers 37  +35 
2. Seagulls  36  +80 
3. Dolphins  36  +73 
4. Diehards  30  -66 
5. Tigers  27  +59 
6. Magpies  26  -181 

* John Devine is a QRL correspondent covering the BRL A Grade competition