Samford Stags remain in second spot on Rugby League Brisbane's Open three men’s north ladder, with a hard fought 34-20 win against last-placed Burpengary Jets.
With Country Round and Samford's grand opening taking place at Alan Cash Oval, it was the Stags' Open men’s division three side that really had the crowd in full swing early in the afternoon, in what was a good, open game of rugby league.
The Stags wasted no time in front of the big crowd that had crammed into the ground, crossing in the 10th minute of play courtesy of industrious centre Bodean Sellin.
In what was a tight contest early on up the middle, both forward packs stood tall.
Samford’s Ben Gaunt and Mitch Penny were outstanding for the Stags, while the Jets' big men in Corey Wells and lock Josh Rewha were hard to contain for the visitors.
But it was the Stags' speedy men who were troubling the Jets, and in the 19th minute powerful winger Ethan Chapple breezed past his opposite number to touch down in the corner.
The Stags further increased their lead in the 25th minute when hard-working prop Penny avoided two Jets defenders to cross beside the sticks.
At 16-0 down, Burpengary’s bustling forwards took matters into their own hands, making solid metres up the middle that troubled the home side.
This then set up a try beside the sticks for the Jets' workaholic prop Wells, who crashed over beside the sticks.
Burpengary gained confidence from their first try and they continued to exert pressure on the Stags' line.
The Jets would reap the rewards again when they crossed right on the half-time hooter, courtesy of replacement Jet Michele Shaw, to see the Jets trail at the break 16-10.
Samford started to find rhythm in the second half and the superb kicking and passing from Stags halfback Brendan Ward-Anning, saw him set up his side's next try, sending Chapple in for his second of the afternoon.
The match became a game of cat-and-mouse and with the Jets still piling on the pressure in attack, they were able to score an opportunist try in the corner, through second rower Austin Hutton-Stanton.
Play was suspended momentarily after the break with a Jets player stretchered off to a waiting ambulance, but the action continued soon after.
It would seem fitting that Samford’s diligent prop Gaunt be worthy of a try for his efforts and he was rewarded in the 50th minute, crossing the chalk beside the sticks.
One of the Stags' unsung heroes of the day was hooker Callum Mckelvie, who was tireless throughout the match.
The dummy half richly deserved a try and the hooker pinched a sneaky four-pointer in the 62nd minute of play, catching the Jets unawares.
A late consolation try to the Jets' Hutton-Stanton - his second of the afternoon - was all to no avail, as the Stags hung on in what was a fast-paced game of rugby league.