The closing round of the 2023 Hastings Deering Colts competition offered up some surprises, as one team snuck back into the top eight just in time for finals.
Here is a look at how the finals race is shaping up and a wrap of Round 16.
The Tweed Seagulls were crowned the 2023 minor premiers after notching up one final big win for this year's home-and-away season.
On their home turf at Piggabeen Sports Complex on Saturday, the Seagulls gave their for-and-against a strong boost with the 50-32 victory over fellow top eight contenders Sunshine Coast Falcons.
The second-placed Brisbane Tigers would have had to win by 50-plus points on Sunday against Wynnum Manly to knock Tweed out of first place and were unable to do so, handing this year's minor premiership to the Seagulls.
Match: Seagulls v Falcons
Round 16 -
Venue: Piggabeen Sports Complex, Tweed Heads
The Tigers still finished the season with their heads held high however, claiming a 36-16 win over Wynnum Manly at BMD Kougari Oval.
The other major moment in Round 16 came from Souths Logan Magpies, who needed a strong win to leapfrog Mackay Cutters and qualify for the top eight.
Sitting in ninth ahead of the weekend, the Magpies delivered a 34-26 victory over Central Queensland to do just that on Saturday. While Mackay also claimed the two points against the Western Clydesdales, the 28-26 scoreline was not enough to keep them in the eight.
Match: Capras v Magpies
Round 16 -
Venue: Browne Park, Rockhampton
The stage has now been set for week one of the finals, with the full schedule below.
Round 16 results
Mackay Cutters 28 def Western Clydesdales 26
Tweed Seagulls 50 def Sunshine Coast Falcons 32
Souths Logan Magpies 34 def Central Queensland Capras 26
Townsville Blackhawks 36 def Burleigh Bears 22
Redcliffe Dolphins 58 def Northern Pride 4
Brisbane Tigers 36 def Wynnum Manly Seagulls 16
Byes: Norths Devils, Ipswich Jets
Match: WM Seagulls v Tigers
Round 16 -
Venue: BMD Kougari Oval, Brisbane
Tweed's commanding win saw them flex their muscle against Sunshine Coast on Saturday, in a big statement ahead of finals.
It was an all-in effort across the 17, with Blake Forder and Logan Radzievic bagging two tries each.
Radzievic also set up a third try and ran for 148 metres with 11 tackle busts to take out the Round 22 Heavy Lifter title.
Heavy lifter: Logan Radzievic
For the Falcons, Mason Peut also scored two tries, finishing the season as the top try scorer with 23 tries.
Elsewhere, Ragarive Wavik and Jamal Shibasaki helped guide Townsville to their victory over Burleigh - notching up a double each - while backrower Ricardo Evenis was strong for Souths Logan.
In Redcliffe's massive win against the Pride, there were 11 tries scored and nine try scorers, showing a true team effort across the park. Will Cahill and Tyrone Nean earned two tries apiece.
And for the Tigers, fullback Lachlan West continued his red-hot form with another standout performance against Wynnum Manly Seagulls.
Finals Week 1
Saturday, August 26
Brisbane Tigers (2) v Townsville Blackawks (3) at Logan Metro Sports Complex, 10am
Redcliffe Dolphins (5) v Souths Logan Magpies (8) at Logan Metro Sports Complex, 12pm
Tweed Seagulls (1) v Burleigh Bears (4) at UAA Park, 6pm
Sunday, August 27
Sunshine Coast Falcons (6) v Wynnum Manly Seagulls (7) at Kayo Stadium, 12pm
*All games live and free on Qplus.tv