Defending champions Wynnum Manly secured their place in the In Safe Hands Cup finals series with a 22-12 win over the Easts Tigers at Langlands Park.
It was simple equation for the Seagulls; win against the Tigers and play finals or lose and see their spot instead go to Redcliffe.
The Tigers, on the other hand, were out to end a four-game losing streak in an attempt to take some momentum into next week’s elimination final which will again be played out between the two clubs.
First points came in the sixth minute when rampaging lock forward Corey Davis charged on to a short ball from Edwin Ipape.
Wynnum Manly were over again 10 minutes later with a similar play. This time, Sam Elliot smashed over and the Gulls were up 12-0, a lead they held until halftime.
The Tigers had to score first to remain in the contest and they did so thanks to a play to the left. Big unit Tevita Wolske bludgeoned his way across the chalk after 10 minutes and Easts were back in the contest.
Wolske, who must have run all the way from Redcliffe with the support of the Dolphins players, was full of running and nothing and no one was going to stop him from crashing over for his second try 13 minutes later to level the scores.
Gulls playmaker Tristan Hope broke the deadlock as he went to the line to then give a short pass to Elliot, who thundered onto the ball and put the visitors in front with five minutes remaining.
Ipape was the man who put the final nail in the coffin for the game and for the finals hopes of the Dolphins, as he snatched an intercept and scored on the buzzer to give the Seagulls the 10-point win and keep their quest for back-to-back titles alive.
They will meet the Tigers again in the minor semi final at Langlands Park next Saturday at 3pm.
Wynnum’s win meant the result was academic, but the Dolphins finished their season in style nonetheless, defeating Valleys Diehards 40-20.
The Dolphins were one of the form sides in the competition over the last two months and will rue a slow start that has seen them fall one game short of finals.
The final game of the regular season saw minor premiers West Brisbane outclass the Souths Logan Magpies 36-10 at Frank Lind Oval.
It was the last game in Magpies colours for Phil Dennis who last year passed Troy Lindsay to become the all-time leader for Intrust Super Cup appearances.
The Panthers will now face off against the Diehards as they look to make their first grand final since the BRL was introduced.
In Safe Hands Cup Round 20 results
Wynnum Manly Seagulls 22 (Sam Elliott 2, Corey Davis, Edwin Ipape tries Tristan Hope 3 goals) def Easts Tigers 12 (Tevita Wolske 2 tries Brandon Downey 2 goals)
Redcliffe Dolphins 40 (Corban Daniels 3, Regan Baker, Tauaalo Vaipulu, Oscar Carter, Jesse Jennings tries Oscar Carter 6 goals) def Valleys Diehards 20 (Mathew McCouat 2, Brad Frith tries; Ethen Richards 4 goals)
West Brisbane Panthers 36 (Zach Strasser 2, Kyle Van Klaveren, Liam Faigaa, Michael Egan, Jordan Brown tries James Olds 6 goals) def Souths Logan Magpies 10 (Nicholas Maina, Kobe Tararo tries Haydyn O’Hara goal)
|1||West Brisbane Panthers||129||52|
|4||Wynnum Manly Seagulls||3||38|
|6||Souths Logan Magpies||-229||30|
Finals week 1 fixtures
Major semi-final (grand final qualifier)
West Brisbane Panthers v Valleys Diehards – Sunday September 8 at Bishop Park, 3pm
Minor semi-final (elimination)
Easts Tigers v Wynnum Manly Seagulls - Saturday September 7 at Langlands Park, 3pm