Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
Premiers Redcliffe had to overcome a tremendous second half fightback from Tweed Heads to record a 34-28 win in the ABC Television clash at Piggabeen. A smart try to Seagulls halfback David Hicks prompted an immediate response by Redcliffe five eight Shane Perry for a 6 all scoreline after twenty minutes. A try to replacement Daniel Green in the corner and Perry?s second try, following a break by Michael Roberts, saw the Dolphins lead 16-6 at half-time.
Tweed Heads no doubt talked of putting together a solid start to the second term, but few expected the Seagulls to post three tries in 7 minutes to lead a shell-shocked Redcliffe 24-16. In the first set after the break a Kris Flint blind side move saw Josh Vaughan cross, then winger Clint Rothery raced 70 metres to score and a Dolphins mistake a few minutes later allowed opposite winger Nat Barnes to run in a 50 metre try for a remarkable turn around. Big prop forward Matt Ross barged over to extend the home side?s advantage to 28-16 after 55 minutes, before second row Ben Jones scored for Redcliffe. Fullback Justin McKay then crossed to reduce the Dolphins deficit to 28-24 with ten minutes on the clock. A try to winger Phil Shilvock regained the lead for Redcliffe before McKay?s second try sealed the win and maintained the Dolphins pursuit of a finals berth. Perry was named QRL man of the match for his busy game in attack.
Wynnum stayed in equal first spot with a hard fought 26 all draw with Norths at Bishop Park. The Seagulls raced in four tries in the first half to hold a commanding 22-6 advantage at the half-time break. A resurgent Devils outfit dominated the second half racing to a lead of 26-22 with youngster Matthew King scoring a double. Centre Jimmy Ahmat then crossed for a try in the dying stages to earn Wynnum a competition point.
Burleigh snuck into third spot on the ladder with a comprehensive 46-16 win over North Queensland, the Young Guns heaviest loss this season, at Dairy Farmers Stadium. The Bears crossed for a total of eight tries winning the game with a dominant performance in the first half. Veteran centre Reggie Cressbrook, a former Cowboy added 7 conversions with North Queensland scoring two late tries to add some respectability to the score.
Ipswich maintained its position in the top five with a hard fought 34-20 win over a gutsy Wests outfit at Purtell Park. The Jets scored six tries with winger Steven West adding 12 points (try, 4 goals) to his season tally of 158 points.
The Comets reduced the finals aspirations of Easts with a 30-22 defeat at Browne Park. The Tigers found it difficult to cope with the Comets big men, Peter Penaia and Wes Goodwin notching two of 6 tries.
Toowoomba went to the top of the table (on percentages) with a 56-26 thrashing of Souths Logan at Davies Park. Young fullback Nick Parfitt crossed for an amazing five tries with Scott Prince also prominent scoring a double and kicking 6 conversions. Winger Adam Stacy and hooker Zeb Kyle each scored doubles for the Magpies.