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Redcliffe in action in Round 6. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL

It was a weekend of upsets across all competitions, as players looked to make one last impact before the final round.

Here is a wrap on Round 6.

Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup

Game of the week

With just two weeks until finals kick off for this year's Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup, there is nothing better than an upset.

And that's exactly what the Western Clydesdales delivered in their Round 6 clash with the Ipswich Jets.

Heading into the meeting, all Ipswich needed was the two points to officially secure their place at the top of Pool B and lock in a finals appearance.

And while it is still highly likely that Ipswich will move into the semis, the Clydesdales threw everything they had at their opponent to record a 28-22 victory at North Ipswich Reserve and bring themselves within two points of the Jets on the ladder.

Moving from ninth into sixth on the overall ladder, the Clydesdales held a tight halftime lead at 12-10 before erupting in the second half.

With a double to winger Matthew Drews - and led strongly by Jake Durie and Brock Sankey - the Clydesdales raced out to a 28-16 lead with just 10 minutes left on the clock.

Ipswich fought back hard - and managed to earn a try for their efforts - but it was not enough to claim the two points.

Other scores

Tweed Seagulls 14 def Norths Devils 10
Northern Pride 44 def Central Queensland Capras 16
Townsville Blackhawks 50 def Mackay Cutters 16
Sunshine Coast Falcons 32 def Wide Bay Bulls 26
Souths Logan Magpies 66 def Brisbane Tigers 10
Redcliffe Dolphins 40 def Burleigh Bears 4
Bye: Wynnum Manly Seagulls

Redcliffe in action in Round 6. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL
Redcliffe in action in Round 6. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL

Finals analysis

Only two teams have definitely secured themselves a finals appearance as we head into the last round, with Townsville Blackhawks (Pool A) and Wynnum Manly Seagulls (Pool C) both undefeated in season 2023.

However, Redcliffe (Pool C) and Ipswich (Pool B) will more than likely join them, with some major upsets needed to stop the Dolphins and Jets from advancing after Round 7.

Norths Devils sit two points behind Redcliffe on the ladder in Pool C while the Clydesdales pose the same threat to Ipswich in Pool B.

However, Redcliffe and Ipswich both hold impressively strong for-and-against differences, so even if they lose in Round 7, they would need to lose by a substantial amount and the Devils and Clydesdales would need to post massive victories.

Redcliffe are heading into what is already potentially the clash of the week in Round 7, taking on Pool C leaders, Wynnum Manly at Kayo Stadium on Sunday while Norths will meet reigning premiers Souths Logan at Logan Metro Football Fields on Saturday.

Ipswich meanwhile will travel to Hervey Bay to meet Wide Bay and the Clydesdales head to the Sunshine Coast to take on the Falcons.

Shout outs

Redcliffe's forwards led a strong charge against the Burleigh Bears on Sunday, playing an instrumental role in securing a commanding 40-4 victory to bounce back from last week's upset loss to Norths Devils.

Elsewhere, Northern Pride prop Jason Hallie put in a mammoth effort against the Central Queensland Capras, scoring four tries through the middle.

Xavier Hellyer had a big day with the boot for Townsville - converting seven from nine tries - while Souths Logan celebrated a huge team victory, with eight players scoring tries in their 66-10 win over Brisbane Tigers.

Centre Dylan Gallagher got a hat-trick in the win while Cairo Rangihuna-Ruri scored a double and kicked nine from 12 goals.

Harvey Norman Under 19s clash between Tweed Seagulls and Norths Devils. Photo: Dempsey Koenig/QRL
Harvey Norman Under 19s clash between Tweed Seagulls and Norths Devils. Photo: Dempsey Koenig/QRL

Harvey Norman Under 19s

Game of the week

The Townsville Blackhawks claimed an upset victory over their northern rivals in the Mackay Cutters, in a thrilling finish at BB Print Stadium.

The Cutters - sitting in second on the overall Harvey Norman Under 19s ladder - were undefeated prior to the meeting with the Blackhawks.

But that did not faze the Townsville team, who came racing out of the gates to post a 16-6 lead at halftime.

This momentum carried into the second half, with fullback Ana Malupo slicing through to extend the Blackhawks' lead 20-6.

But Mackay showed the resilience and fight that sees them sitting towards the top of the ladder, hitting back late in the second half to give fans a treat.

Prop Chelsea McLeod barged over first to narrow the gap at 20-12 before quick hands saw centre Madison Westecott cross with just minutes left on the clock.

Mackay then collected the ball off the kick off, ready to make one last ditch effort to either draw or win the game, but a one-on-one strip from Townsville prop Chloe Watson sealed the deal for the Blackhawks in a thrilling finish.

Other scores 

Sunshine Coast Falcons 52 def Wide Bay Bulls 4
Tweed Seagulls 20 def Norths Devils 16
Central Queensland Capras 42 def Northern Pride 0
Brisbane Tigers 24 def Souths Logan Magpies 18
Burleigh Bears 16 def Redcliffe Dolphins 0
Ipswich Jets 22 def Western Clydesdales 20
Bye: Wynnum Manly Seagulls

Mover of the week

A special mention this week goes to Ipswich Jets for standing tall as the only undefeated team despite a strong challenge from the Western Clydesdales in Round 6.

Ipswich held onto top spot on the ladder - and their unbeaten run - after overcoming an impressive first half from the Clydesdales at North Ipswich Reserve.

The away team posted four tries in the opening stanza to take a 16-10 lead into the break, but the Jets showed plenty of class to fight back and win 22-20.

Shout outs

The Burleigh Bears put in a really strong team performance on Sunday to not only overcome the Redcliffe Dolphins but keep them scoreless at 16-0. Matisse Bettridge in particular impressed, playing a hand in a number of Burleigh tries.

What a weapon: Matisse Bettridge

Ipswich lock Zebadiah Latu Mulumulu's boot made the difference in her side's win over the Western Clydesdales - kicking three from four goal in the two-point win - while halfback Jairel-Ellen Martin-Savage helped lead her team's upset victory with a double. 

Lock Hannah De Daunton also kicked an impressive 40/30 for the Blackhawks.

Central Queensland Capras Cyril Connell Challenge team in Round 6. Photo: LF Creative and Socials/QRL
Central Queensland Capras Cyril Connell Challenge team in Round 6. Photo: LF Creative and Socials/QRL

Cyril Connell Challenge

Game of the week

Souths Logan Magpies and Brisbane Tigers had a tight battle at Leo Williams Oval on Saturday.

The two teams went into halftime with the game tied up at 6-6 before Souths Logan started to break away from their opponents, scoring two quick tries in the 10 minutes after the break to take a 16-6 lead.

As the game inched closer to fulltime, it looked like Souths Logan may take the two points but the Tigers kept coming time and time again, putting continual pressure on the Magpies.

Eventually they managed to break through with fast hands getting centre Jahzayis Perenara-Livapulu over with five minutes left on the clock.

The Tigers missed the conversion but moved quickly off the kick off with second rower Dominic Ierome bringing his side within striking distance at 16-14.

Halfback Elijah Breen added the two points, closing out a 16-16 draw.

Other scores

Tweed Seagulls 30 def Norths Devils 14
Central Queensland Capras 44 def Northern Pride 6
Townsville Blackhawks 24 def Mackay Cutters 4
Sunshine Coast Falcons 22 def Wide Bay Bulls 18
Redcliffe Dolphins 32 def Burleigh Bears 16
Ipswich Jets 40 def Western Clydesdales 20
Bye: Wynnum Manly Seagulls

Mover of the week

The Ipswich Jets sprung to life in their pool, overcoming Western Clydesdales 40-20 to move from eighth into fourth spot on the overall ladder.

They are now the leaders in their pool, with Sunshine Coast and the Clydesdales in sixth and seventh on the overall ladder. 

What a weapon: Xzavier Timoteo

Shout outs

Ipswich prop Xzavier Timoteo helped his side to their win over the Western Clydesdales, scoring two tries in a destructive performance through the middle.

Central Queensland Capras centre Jake Murphy scored a hat-trick in his side's 44-6 victory over the Northern Pride while winger Nate Donald continued an impressive season for the Sunshine Coast Falcons, scoring their match winner.

Match official of the week

It was a big weekend for Taylor Ball, who was touch judge in the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup clash between Tweed Seagulls and Norths Devils on the Saturday before backing up on the Sunday to officiate the Cyril Connell Challenge showdown between Burleigh Bears and Redcliffe Dolphins.

Ball was praised for his "timely and positive contribution" when it came to his communication and movement in both games, and in particular the value he added to the team performance on Saturday.

It is clear that Ball is learning and developing each week, taking the feedback from his coaches into each game, with the young official starting to look more comfortable and in control at all times.

Ball also impressed with the way he worked with less experienced match officials, acting as a positive mentor to help them through their performances and to ensure they felt prepared.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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