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Finals puzzle to fall into place after closing round

The final regular season round of the In Safe Hands Cup season has arrived and the only thing fans know for sure is that the Magpies will not play finals and the Panthers will not be the minor premiers.

The final makeup of the top four and where they will finish, with a number of outcomes still possible depending on this weekend's results.

In the race for the minor premiership, Redcliffe could claim that title for the second year in a row if they can defeat the Diehards, while a Dolphins loss and a Seagulls win would see the top spot decided on for-and-against. Currently, the Dolphins hold an 11-point lead in that area.

A Seagulls loss and a West Brisbane Panthers win over the Magpies will put the Panthers in second place and give them two bites of the cherry to make the decider on September 15.

If the fourth-placed Tigers lose to the Seagulls and fifth-placed Valleys manage to secure victory, the sides will swap places and the Diehards' title defence will stay alive.

The first match of the round is on Saturday at 3.15pm with West Brisbane at home against the Magpies.

The Panthers 10-point loss (30-20) at the hands Redcliffe ended their minor premiership hopes last week.

The Panthers will need a victory, and a Seagulls loss in order to move back into second spot. Standing in their way is the Magpies.

Prior to last week's loss to the Tigers (28-8), Souths were in punishing form and were mounting a genuine challenge to contest finals and the Panthers will need their best efforts to repel a black and white onslaught from a side that has nothing to lose.

West Brisbane have named a familiar line up of 19 giving coach Wayne Weekes a pleasant headache as to who he will throw into the contest.

Souths coach Steven Bretherton has named a massive pack to take on the Panthers a task Wests forward leader Troy Swift will relish.

The carnage up front will not be for the faint hearted. This is Souths' final game of the season as Luke Archer and his flock will look to finish on a high. 

Ironically, the second game Saturday afternoon at 4.15pm at Dolphin Stadium between Redcliffe and Valleys has last year's grand finalists pitted against each other once again.

For the two of them to again slug it out in the decider, Valleys first need a win and the Tigers have to lose to Bayside.

Diehards coach Don Gailer will lament a lack of discipline last week against the Seagulls as two players were sin binned in their 20-16 loss. Their sixth in a row.

Valleys play the full 80 minutes and do so in the belief of conjuring a win out of nothing. That was never more evident than last week's loss as they mounted a late charge at Emerson Park.

Redcliffe coach Daniel Green started the year with a new-look roster that took the first half of the season to mould into a real threat to avenge last year's grand final loss.

Green not only has a large mobile pack, he also has a young and exciting back line. With Stephen Coombe and his band of brothers in the blue corner will need to match it with what will emerge from Redcliffe, led by Bailey Butler.

The final game of the regular season sees the Seagulls traveling to Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park to take on the Tigers from 4.30pm.

Both coaches, Ron Troutman (Seagulls) and David Krause (Easts), will know their fate with 15 minutes remaining, the scheduled finish time of Game 2 at Dolphin Stadium.

If the Dolphins win that game, the Seagulls can't finish on top of the ladder and the Tigers can't miss the finals.

Should the Diehards get up, it will set up fireworks in the final 15 minutes as the Tigers look to save their place in the semis and the Seagulls fight for the minor premiership.

For Bayside, Mitchell Frei and Matt Milson return after stepping to higher grade in PNG last week.

For Easts, Jack Walters returns, however, playmaker Brayden Torphy will again be missing as he holds on to his place for the Intrust Super Cup clash with Burleigh.

Both sides are coming off wins last week and they also have a lot riding on this result. The Tigers could be playing their last game, and the Seagulls could be turning out for the elimination final next week.

Regardless of the final makeup of the ladder, there is no doubting that the In Safe Hands Cup has continued to deliver a higher quality of football every year.

The upsets, the draws, games going down to the final minute; it has all been a wonderful 20 weeks for which every club and every player should be proud of.

In Safe Hands Cup Round 20

Panthers vs Magpies – Kev Mc Kell Oval, Saturday, August 25 at 3.15pm


1. Campbell Mohr 2. Namila Davui 3. Kennedy Pettyborne 4. Sam Collins 5. James Olds 6. Kyle Van Klaveren 7. Gavin Causer 8. Michael Molo 9. Adam Harris 10. Drae Aiono 11. Mitch Hallinan 12. Billy Rogers 13. Dominic Biondi 16. Henry Togiasua 17. Troy Swift 18. Simona Vavega 19. Josh Afoa

Coach: Wayne Weekes


1. Javarn White 2. Bernard Mosby 3. David Pritchard 4. Luke Archer 5. Shaiquan Terekia 6. Sato Ketia-Opo 7. Dray Ngatuere-Wroe 8. Ajay Tuimavave 9. Savaan Tahere 10. Will Samuel 11. Matty Brown 12. Justin Fai 13. Jesse Matafeo 14. Rodney Wynne 15. Simione Fatafehi 16. George Terekia 17. Darcy Maroske

Coach: Steve Bretherton

Dolphins v Diehards vs – Dolphin Oval, Saturday, August 25 at 4.15pm


1. Tony Tumusa 2. Justice Utateo 3. Sam Leach 4. Paranas Bokuik 5. Will Partridge 6. Reece Braun 7. Radean Robinson 8. Taylor Brown 9. Tristan Hope 10. Bailey Butler 11. Scott Schulte 12. Agassi Stowers 13. 14. Jordan Pinnock 15. Tauaalo Vaipulu 16. Corban Daniels 17. Ben King

Coach: Daniel Green


1. Stacey Everitt 2. Tom Collins 3. Regan Glynn 4. Callum Klein 5. John Collins 6. Brett Doherty 7. Gary Riccardi 8. Stephen Coombe 9. Dalton Phillips 10. Jacob Kelly 11. Moses Noovao - Mc Greal 12. Paul Ivan 13. Chris Aiton 14. Jamie Casey 15. Dan Nolan 16. Luke Sanderson 17. Matt McCormick

Coach: Don Gailer

Tigers v Seagulls – Suzuki Stadium Saturday, August 25 at 4.30pm


1. Jayden Carroll 2. Brandon Downey 3. Kea Pere 4. Harry Pondekas 5. Connor Jones 6. Josh Ralph 7. Josh Curti 8. Gene Ropoama 9. Jack Walters 10. Andrew Thompson 11. Adam Crear 12. Jack Anderson 13. Jesse Uhlmann 14. Haydin Elsebach 15. Heath Wilson Ryan Cameron 16. Jaiyden Hunt 17. Te Rore Puke.

Coach: David Krause


1. Matthew Milson 2. Jack Goodsell 3. Bradley Mana 4. Harlan Collins 5. Tumoana Halkyard 6. John Te Reo 7. Adrian Elder 8. Billy Solah 9. Kalolo Saitaua 10. Ngarima 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

In Safe Hands Cup Ladder   
1. Dolphins  +97 45 
2. Seagulls  +86  43 
3. Panthers  +37  42 
4. Tigers  +77  34 
5. Diehards  -100  33 
6. Magpies  -197  31 

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