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Upset as Panthers claim finals berth

The Gold Coast Griffith Panthers have qualified for the Universities Rugby League Queensland semi-finals after upsetting the University of Queensland Hounds last night.

After a great early-season start followed by a rough patch, the Panthers needed to win two of their last three games to qualify.

They did it down at Southport’s Owen Park, their six tries spearheading a 28-16 win and securing fourth place on the ladder.

That victory held off the fast-finishing Griffith Logan Redbacks, who won their last two games, but were left two competition points out of the finals.

The Redbacks actually finished with a superior points differential than two of the semi-final qualifiers, but will be rueing some close losses early in the year.

Last night, the Redbacks accounted for an understrength ACU by 38-20.

ACU had already secured third place on the ladder, and will now meet the second-ranked Hounds at UQ’s St Lucia campus in the finals next week.

The Griffith Dragons already had the minor premiership in their keeping, but coach Matt Church did not take his foot off the pedal last night.

The Dragons warmed up for the semis with an imposing 70-4 win over the QUT Trouts at their home ground at Nathan.

That is the same venue where the Dragons will host the Panthers in the other semi-final next week, with the two winners to meet in the URLQ grand final at Davies Park on Wednesday, September 5.

The Panthers will have to keep on the lookout for speedy fullback Sean Dermba, who racked up five tries against the Trouts last night.


GRIFFITH DRAGONS 70 (Sean Dermba 5, Allen Rau 2, Tyran Rundmann 2, Jake Kearnan, Logan Fleming, Adam Honnery, Adam Jessup tries; Dean Sheppard 9 goals) defeated QUT TROUTS 4 (Terence Gorogo try) at Griffith Nathan Campus.

GRIFFITH GOLD COAST PANTHERS 28 (Jack Johnson, Lachie Cruickshank, Ben Glutz, Nick Jones, Harry Dickman, Aden Sooalo tries; Cody Feltham 2 goals) defeated UQ HOUNDS 16 (Mitchell McPherson 2, Dom Ragoneisi tries; Aaron Werth 2 goals) at Owen Park, Southport.

GRIFFITH LOGAN REDBACKS 38 (Andrew Taukalo 2, Liam Faigaa, Cris Afamasaga, Rowan Barnett, Trent Shield, Ben Kelly tries; Shield 5 goals) defeated ACU 20 (Tom Benham, Stuard Kunyip, Jamie Crawford, Isaac Goodwin tries; Goodwin 2 goals) at Griffith Logan Campus.


26 points – Griffith Dragons (+214)
22 points – UQ Hounds (+75)
20 points – ACU (-29), Griffith GC Panthers (-94)
18 points – Griffith Logan Redbacks (-6)
14 points – QUT Trouts (-160)


URLQ Semi Final 1: Wednesday, August 29

Date: Wednesday, August 29
Location: Griffith University Nathan Campus
Teams: Griffith Dragons v Griffith Gold Coast Panthers 
Kick-off: 7.30pm

URLQ Semi Final 2: Wednesday, August 29

Location: UQ St Lucia 
Teams: UQ Hounds v ACU 
Kick-off: 7.30pm

URLQ Grand Final: Wednesday, September 5

Location: Davies Park, West End 
Teams: Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2
Kick-off: 7.30pm