The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Tweed Heads dispelled any doubts of their claim on a finals berth with a hard fought 32-26 win over last year?s grand finalists Ipswich at Piggabeen in the ABC Television match. Two early tries, both to winger Clint Rothery and second row Luke O?Dwyer from well placed kicks by five eight Kris Flint, gave the Seagulls a 10-0 lead after only ten minutes. Big Graham Mackay crashed over from dummy half to reduce the margin to 10-4 but a good try to fullback Nathan Cross saw Tweed lead 16-4 after twenty-five minutes.
A touch judge error, when a 40-20 kick was awarded to the home side, led to winger Nat Barnes crossing for a try, before the Jets hit back again with a try to fullback Darren Robinson from a scrum and the score was 20-10 at half-time. An early try to Ipswich winger Jay O?Doherty reduced the deficit but Seagulls centre Tom Pritchard scored a try, again from a kick, to extend the lead to 24-16. Rothery?s second try minutes later appeared to seal the win but a dart from dummy half by Jets hooker Jamie Tomlinson resulted in a try and a 28-22 scoreline. When O?Doherty notched his double the score was 28-26 with five minutes to go but a try to Josh Vaughan clinched the win for Seagulls over a gutsy Ipswich outfit. Tweed Heads lock forward Jeremy Smith was named QRL man of the match following a prominent effort in attack and defence.
North Queensland stayed in touch with the top five following a 28-16 win over Easts in Townsville. The Young Guns raced in 5 tries through three quarters Brenton Bowen and Luke Cross and forwards Scott Whiting, Jacob Lillyman and Derrick Watkins. The two competition points saw North Queensland (14) leapfrog the Tigers (12) into seventh spot on the ladder.
Burleigh joined Redcliffe and the Jets in equal 5th position with a hard fought 34-28 win over Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval. Bears winger Dimitri Pelo and Ryan Gundry, normally a hooker but starting the match at five eight, both crossed for two tries. For the Dolphins flyer Aaron Barba notched a hat trick, taking his season?s try tally to 17, with Redcliffe?s other winger Phil Shilvock scoring a double.
Toowoomba, again fielding a team with a strong NRL flavour, were too good for Wests Panthers winning 60-4 at Purtell Park. Young half Brett Seymour was the stand out scoring three tries and 8 goals with Carl Webb also notching a double for the Clydesdales.
The Comets led 12-0 early in their match at Browne Park but a late field goal from halfback Marty Turner gave Norths a 25-24 win. Former State of Origin rake John Doyle continued his return to football securing two tries for the Comets.
Souths Logan established an early 14-0 lead over Wynnum at Kougari Oval but the Seagulls fought back to win easily 66-20, scoring 44 points in the second half. Wynnum five eight Denny Lambert continued his recent try-feast crossing for 4 tries.