Round 24 Team of the Week

ROUND 24 can be remembered for a number of reasons. It can be remembered for the round where the Warriors ended the Storms winning streak. It can be remembered for the Panthers coming back from 20 points to defeat the Sharks in one of the comebacks of the year. It can be remembered for the great performances from the Broncos and the Dragons, or it can be remembered for the Knights winning without Andrew Johns for the first time in 2 years. With all those reasons put into consideration, we have come up with our top 17 to create the Round 24 League Unlimited Team of the Week.Fullback: Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles) - Put his foot forward for a possible Australian jersey at the end of the year in the tri-nations with another try fest at Brookvale. Has quickly become one of Rugby Leagues most exciting players. Wing: Jarryd Hayne (Eels) - The try-scoring freak had another blinder of a performance this week at Aussie Stadium. Scored a try and always looked dangerous with the ball in his hands. Is a shoe-in for rookie of the year in 2006.Centre: Mark Gasnier (Dragons) - Another superb display this week from the best centre in the world. Caused the Tigers outside defenders headaches all afternoon and is hitting form at the right time of the season.Centre: Justin Hodges (Broncos) - Stuck Hodges in the centers again this week despite him playing fullback. Was devastating against the Bulldogs and is pushing his claim for a spot in the Australian team come Tri-nations time.Wing: Darren Albert (Sharks) - Despite the Sharks losing, Albert still played his best game in a Sharks jersey. Made a couple of try-saving tackles and bagged a two tries himself. Five-eighth: Jarrod Mullen (Knights) - With no Andrew Johns in the team this youngster took control of the Knights team and led the team to an impressive victory. Showed great leadership and skill throughout the game and is a representative player of the future.Halfback: Matt Orford (Sea Eagles) - The Ox was running wild at Brookvale oval against the Bunnies this week. Orford has a hand in four of the Sea Eagles tries and played one of his best games of the year.Lock: Glenn Morrison (Eels) - Was excellent throughout the Roosters game on Sunday afternoon. Made plenty of tackles and always puts in his 100% effort week in week out. Second Row: Steve Simpson (Knights) - Was the forward leader of the Knights pack and led the team well. Constantly hit the ball up with great speed and made 35 tackles as well. One of the best second rowers going around at the moment. Second Row: Dean Widders (Eels) - Dean normally comes of the bench for the Eels but gets a run on start here. His running game was back to his best and he carved up the Roosters out wide. His short kicking game is also becoming a feature of his game. Prop: Jason Ryles (Dragons) - Big Jason came out with a purpose on Sunday afternoon at Oki Jubilee and that was too prove his critics wrong by performing well and ripping into the Tigers forward pack. Ryles played his best game in 2 years and is rewarded with a spot in the team of the week.Hooker: Danny Buderus (Knights) - Was without his partner in crime on Saturday night, however Danny was still excellent around the ruck area for the Knights in Townsville. He really controlled things well for the Knights and made a heap of tackles as well. Invaluable to the team. Prop: Petero Civoniceva (Broncos) - Petero 'seven cents a litre' really took it to a strong Dogs pack on Friday night. Petero provides great go-forward and makes plenty of tackles as well. Is one of the games best props going around. Interchance: Luke O'Dwyer (Eels), Craig Stapleton (Panthers), Mark Riddell (Eels), Grant Rovelli (Rovelli)A strong interchange bench with Rovelli being the impact player, O'Dwyer being very versitle and the big boppers in Stapleton and Riddell. Merkin of the Week Award for Stupidity: The award this week has to go to the touch judge that ruled two passes forward in 5 minutes that cost both the Broncos and the Bulldogs a try. Both passes were fine and both should of been awarded as tries. It amazes me how those passes can be called forward, but we can't seem to pick up the most obvious forward passes like the Kurt Gidley incident against the Raiders at Energy Australia stadium earlier this year.

Rammo's rant

ISN?T it amazing how 20 minutes of football can turn a team?s season on its head?

R25: Hull scrape over Salford

RICHARD Horne?s last-second drop goal secured Hull FC a dramatic 11-10 win over Salford City Reds to edge the Black and Whites closer to a first-ever second-place finish in the engage Super League.

R25: Catalans nudge baby Saints

STACEY Jones jinked through the St Helens defence with 35 seconds remaining to snatch a 26-22 victory for Catalans Dragons which appeared unlikely for much of the second half.

R25: Wolves beat Quins

WARRINGTON Wolves all but secured their place in the engage Super League play-offs but their 28-22 victory over Harlequins RL was marred by the dismissal of club captain Paul Rauhihi.

R25: Bradford cage Tigers

SUPER League champions Bradford Bulls ran riot to regain the two points docked by their salary-cap breach and pile on the agony for relegation-threatened Castleford Tigers with a 48-10 victory at Grattan Stadium.

R25: Leeds hold Wakefield

LEEDS Rhinos ended their five-match losing streak with a slender 14-12 victory to plunge Wakefield Trinity Wildcats deeper into the engage Super League relegation mire.

R25: Wigan jump Huddersfield

DANNY Orr pounced for a late try to seal a narrow 14-10 victory over Huddersfield Giants and boost Wigan Warriors' hopes of avoiding relegation from the engage Super League.

Turner faces tough choice

MELBOURNE hasn't ruled out taking legal action against the NRL after the sport's governing body refused to register a three-year contract with in-form winger Steve Turner.

Queensland state-wide wrap

LATEST scores, standings and finals times for major rugby league competitions across Queensland.XXXX STATEWIDE SCORE WRAP>>MAJOR COMPETITIONSQLD WIZARD CUPRound 22: Norths 64 d Souths Logan 10, Toowoomba 22 d North Queensland 6, Easts 12 d Central 6, Tweed Heads 26 d Wynnum Manly 20, Burleigh 42 d Ipswich 22.Final Standings: Toowoomba 32, North Queensland 30, Redcliffe 28, Tweed Heads 22, Easts 22, Burleigh 21, Norths 17, Central 15, Wynnum Manly 13, Souths Logan 12, Ipswich 8.Finals: Elimination Final - Tweed Heads v Easts, Piggabeen Complex, Saturday August 26, 2pm (Live on ABC TV). Qualifying Final - North QLD v Redcliffe, Townsville Sports Reserve, Sunday August 27, 3.30pm.QLD WOMENSRound 18: Ipswich Brothers 16 d Wests Centenary 6. Wests Mitchelton d Caboolture on forfeit.Standings: Ipswich Brothers 31, Wests Centenary 24, Wests Mitchelton 13, Caboolture 2.ARRIVE ALIVE CUPQueensland Final: Keebra Park SHS 18 (Kingi Akaoula, Matt Parata, Orlando Wihongi-Seia, Brett Thomas tries; Matt Parata goal) d St Brendan?s Yeppoon 4 (Nic Deaves try).National Semi: Keebra Park SHS v St Dominc?s Penrith/St Gregory?s Campbelltown, Dairy Farmers Stadium, Friday September 1.>>> SOUTH EAST DIVISIONFOGS CUPRound 22: Souths Logan 46 d Norths 36, Sunshine Coast 46 d Aspley 22, Easts 48 d Western Districts 0, Tweed Heads 22 drew Wynnum Manly 22, Burleigh 34 d Ipswich 20.Final Standings: Tweed Heads 35, Easts 26, Burleigh 25, Wynnum Manly 25, Souths Logan 24, Sunshine Coast 22, Redcliffe 17, Norths 16, Ipswich 12, Aspley 10, Western Districts 8. Finals: Elimination Final - Wynnum Manly v Souths Logan, BMD Kougari Oval, Sunday August 27, 3pm. Qualifying Final - Easts v Burleigh, Piggabeen Complex, Saturday August 26, 12pm.FOGS COLTS CHALLENGERound 22: Norths 66 d Souths Logan 6, Aspley 46 d Sunshine Coast 6, Easts 34 d Western Districts 28, Tweed Heads 38 d Wynnum Manly 30, Burleigh 38 d Ipswich 24.Final Standings: Norths 32, Redcliffe 30, Easts 28, Aspley 24, Wynnum Manly 22, Tweed Heads 22, Souths Logan 19, Burleigh 17, Western Districts 11, Ipswich 10, Sunshine Coast 5. Finals: Elimination Final - Aspley v Wynnum Manly, BMD Kougari Oval, Sunday August 27, 1.15pm.Qualifying Final - Redcliffe v Easts, Piggabeen Complex, Saturday August 26, 10.30am.SPOTLESS CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPFinal Standings: Tweed Heads 259, Redcliffe 253, Easts 250, Norths 212, Burleigh 210, Wynnum Manly 193, Souths Logan 177, Aspley 102, Ipswich 98, Sunshine Coast 81, Western Districts 57. XXXX BRISBANE SECOND DIVISIONNORTHSIDE ONERound 18: Northside Natives 38 d Aspley Demons 26, Sandgate Brighton Gaters 26 d Pine Rivers 20, Banyo 20 d Northern Suburbs Juniors 0 (forfeit), Fortitude Valley Juniors 10 drew Dayboro 10, Samford 31 d Brook Sharks 0 (forfeit).Final Standings: Dayboro 31, Banyo 25, Fortitude Valley Juniors 23, Samford 21, Pine Rivers 20, Sandgate Brighton Gaters 19, Aspley Demons 15, Northside Natives 10, Brook Sharks 9, Northern Suburbs Juniors 7.Finals: Minor Semi ? Fortitude Valley Juniors v Samford, Arana Hills, Saturday August 26, 1.15pm. Major Semi ? Dayboro v Banyo, Arana Hills, Saturday August 26, 3pm.SOUTHSIDE ONERound 20: St Brendans 20 d Greenbank 10, Carina 52 d Capalaba Juniors 18, Wests Inala 30 d Mt Gravatt 12.Final Standings: St Brendans 32, Carina 32, Wests Inala 25, Greenbank 25, Mt Gravatt 20, Wynnum Manly Juniors 10, Capalaba Juniors 6, Logan Brothers 0.Finals: Minor Semi ? Wests Inala v Greenbank, Underwood Park, Saturday August 26, 1.15pm. Major Semi ? St Brendans v Carina, Underwood Park, Saturday August 26 3pm.NORTHSIDE TWORound 22: Arana Hills 32 d Deception Bay Bombers 12, Ferny Grove 52 d Fortitude Valley Juniors 10, Northern Raiders 34 d Deception Bay Juniors 12, Burpengary 30 d Pine Central Holy Spirit 26, Mitchelton 22 d Normanby 6, Aspley Demons bye.Final Standings: Mitchelton 40, Ferny Grove 38, Normanby 36, Northern Raiders 28, Arana Hills 27, Deception Bay Bombers 26, Deception Bay Juniors 24, Aspley Demons 17, Fortitude Valley Juniors 12, Pine Central Holy Spirit 10, Burpengary 6.Finals: Minor Semi ? Normanby v Northern Raiders, Emerson Park, Saturday August 26, 1.15pm. Major Semi ? Mitchelton v Ferny Grove, Emerson Park, Saturday August 26, 3pm. SOUTHSIDE TWOPreliminary Final: Beenleigh Juniors 20 d Sunnybank 10.Final Standings: Rochedale 36, Beenleigh Juniors 32, Sunnybank 30, Logan Brothers 29, Redlands 18, Bears 12, Carina 11. Grand Final: Rochedale v Beenleigh Juniors, Davies Park, West End, Saturday August 26, 1.15pm.SOUTHSIDE THREEPreliminary Final: Slacks Creek 46 d Logan Wanderers 30.Final Standings: St Brendans 34, Slacks Creek 31, Logan Wanderers 30, Beenleigh Juniors 21, Rochedale 18, Wynnum Manly Juniors 16, Browns Plains 10, Bulimba Valleys 8.Grand Final: St Brendans v Slacks Creek, Davies Park, West End, Saturday August 26, 11.30am.ARTHUR SPARKS SHIELDPreliminary Final: Logan Brothers 58 d Arana Hills 14.Final Standings: Sandgate Brighton Gaters 30, Arana Hills 29, Mustangs 29, Logan Brothers 28, Wynnum Manly Juniors 26, Eastern Suburbs Juniors 24, Mitchelton 24, St Brendans 18, Capalaba Juniors 10, Browns Plains 6, Pine Central Holy Spirit 4. Grand Final: Sandgate Brighton v Logan Brothers, Davies Park, West End, Saturday August 26, 3pm.>>NORTHERN DIVISIONBENDIGO BANK PREMIERSHIP (Cairns)Round 22: Mareeba 30 d Atherton 18, Ivanhoes 48 d Mossman Port Douglas 22, Brothers 26 d Tully 10, Innisfail 44 d Suburbs 22, Kangaroos 90 d Yarrabah 6. Edmonton bye.Final Standings: Brothers 39, Innisfail 37, Kangaroos 35, Ivanhoes 27, Mareeba 26, Atherton 26, Tully 24, Mossman Port Douglas 18, Yarrabah 14, Suburbs 14, Edmonton 4.Finals: Elimination Final ? Ivanhoes v Mareeba, Barlow Park, Sunday August 27, 4.30pm. Qualifying Final ? Innisfail v Kangaroos, Barlow Park, Sunday August 27, 6pm.TOWNSVILLE DISTRICTS RLRound 20: Burdekin 20 d Brothers 15, Charters Towers 20 d Centrals 18, Herbert River 68 d University 0. Sharks United bye.Standings: Brothers 72, Herbert River 60, Sharks United 56, Burdekin 50, Charters Towers 36, Centrals 34, University 12.* Wins worth 4pts in TDRLMERCURY CUP (Mackay)Major Semi: Moranbah 24 d Souths 22.Minor Semi: Brothers 26 d Sarina 20.Final Standings: Moranbah 28, Souths 26, Brothers 24, Sarina 16, Norths 14, Magpies 14, Whitsunday 10, Wests 4.Preliminary Final: Souths v Brothers, Mackay JRL, Sunday August 27, 3.45pm.MID WEST RLMajor Semi: Doomadgee 48 d Hughenden 32.Minor Semi: Normanton 46 d Cloncurry 26.Final Standings: Doomadgee 24, Hughenden 24, Normanton 24, Cloncurry 12, Julia Creek 3, Richmond -6.Preliminary Final: Hughenden v Normanton, Hughenden, Saturday August 26.>>CENTRAL DIVISIONEXTENDED LEAGUEFinal Standings: CQU Norths 13, Wallabys 12, Gladstone Brothers 12, Rockhampton Brothers 11, Fitzroy Gracemere 10, Yeppoon 8, Tannum Sands 4, Valleys 2, Biloela 0.Finals: Minor Semi ? Gladstone Brothers v Rockhampton Brothers, Marley Brown Oval, Sunday August 27, 3pm. Major Semi ? CQU Norths v Wallabys, Browne Park, Sunday August 27, 3pm.ROCKHAMPTON DISTRICT RLGrand Final: A-Grade - Rockhampton Brothers 28 (Sam Granville 2, Peter Stanley, Geoff Black, Gerry Doyle tries; Yoren Major 4 goals) d Fitzroy Gracemere 27 (Trent Munns 2, Bryce Wilkes, Jim Dockery, Malcolm Darkin tries; Mitchel Smith 2, Luke Dale goals; Mitchel Smith field goal). Reserve Grade ? Rockhampton Brothers 54 d CQU Norths 24.Under 19 ? Fitzroy Gracemere 30 d CQU Norths 14.Final Standings: CQU Norths 16, Rockhampton Brothers 15, Fitzroy Gracemere 15, Yeppoon 2.GLADSTONE DISTRICT RLGrand Final: A-Grade - Wallabys 24 (Graeme Warde, Aaron Farrar, Chris Butler, Ashley Dodd tries; Ron Craig 4 goals) d Gladstone Brothers 16 (Trevor Huth 2, Russell Groth, Brendan Gibb tries).Reserve Grade ? Gladstone Brothers 28 d Tannum Sands 20.Under 19 ? Tannum Sands 32 d Valleys 8.Standings: Gladstone Brothers 21, Wallabys 19, Tannum Sands 10, Valleys 6, Biloela 4.CENTRAL HIGHLANDS RLMajor Semi: Clermont 41 d Blackwater 28.Minor Semi: Emerald Tigers 34 d Middlemount 28.Final Standings: Clermont 28, Blackwater 23, Emerald Tigers 22, Middlemount 17, Emerald Cowboys 9, Springsure 3.Preliminary Final: Blackwater v Emerald Tigers, Hinricks Oval, Blackwater, Saturday August 26, 5.30pm.>>WIDE BAY DIVISION4BU-HITZ FM PREMIERSHIP (Bundaberg)Major Semi: Across The Waves 42 d Wests 28 (Extra time. 28-all regulation).Minor Semi: Hervey Bay 26 d Wallaroos 24.Final Standings: Wests 21, Hervey Bay 20, Across The Waves 16, Easts 13, Wallaroos 10, Brothers 8*. * Deducted two points for fielding unregistered player. Preliminary Final: Wests v Hervey Bay, Salter Oval, Sunday August 27, 3.10pm.WIDE BAY AUSTRALIA CUP (Northern Districts)Grand Final: Biggenden 46 (Jamie Randall 2, David George 2, Gary Einam, Matt Curtis, Chris Onoprienko, Tony McMeekin, Jeff Shadford tries; Gary Einam 5 goals) d South Kolan 16 (Tom Johnson 3, Dion Fisher tries).Final Standings: Biggenden 28, South Kolan 20, Miriam Vale 18, Gin Gin 16, Avondale 8.CENTRAL DISTRICTSGrand Final: Eidsvold 36 (Stanley Bligh 2, Matthew Chapman, Nathan Beezley, Cassius Collins, Jerome Boyle tries; Stanley Bligh 6 goals) d Calliope 26 (Adam Moore, Marc Eggmolese, Todd Hansen, Damian Kenny, Mark Mathews tries; Marc Eggmolese 2, Adam Moore goals).Final Standings: Eidsvold 12, Calliope 8, Monto 6.BRAD BACKER SHIELD (Fraser Coast)Grand Final: Brothers 20 (Brad Gordon 3, Dane Anderson tries; Paul Hanley 2 goals) d Wests 10 (Aaron Banholz, Vinnie Tarrare tries; Chris Janson goal).Final Standings: Brothers 24, Rovers 12, Wests 8, Titans 4.MAROOCHY RSL CUP (Sunshine Coast)Round 18: Gympie Cooloola 46 d Bribie Island 24, Kawana 38 d Maroochydore Coolum 18, Noosa 36 d Caboolture 18, Caloundra 42 d Nambour 26. Beerwah byeFinal Standings: Caloundra 34, Noosa 30, Kawana 24, Caboolture 24, Nambour 21, Maroochydore Coolum 17, Beerwah 12, Gympie Cooloola 11, Bribie Island 7.Finals: Major Semi ? Caloundra v Noosa, Caloundra, Saturday August 26, kick-off TBA. Minor Semi ? Kawana v Caboolture, Kawana, Sunday August 27, kick-off TBA.SUNSHINE COAST GYMPIE AMATEURSPreliminary Final: Kilcoy 50 d Yandina 4.Final Standings: Kilcoy 30, Beachmere 23, Pomona 19, Yandina 12, Palmwoods 6.Grand Final: Beachmere v Kilcoy, Pomona, Saturday August 26, 2.30pm.>>SOUTH WEST DIVISIONWAGNER?S FIRST GRADE (Toowoomba)Round 21: Brothers 116 d Newtown 1, Valleys 40 d Souths 20, Warwick 32 d Pittsworth 28, Wattles 76 d Goondiwindi 32, Dalby 66 d Oakey 16. Gatton bye.Standings: Valleys 38, Brothers 34, Goondiwindi 30, Dalby 28, Oakey 26, Wattles 25, Gatton 24, Pittsworth 17, Souths 14, Warwick 12, Newtown 4. ROMA DISTRICTS RLMajor Semi: Mitchell 32 d St George 28.Final Standings: St George 19, Mitchell 17, Cities 16, Red Bulls 16, Miles 13, Chinchilla 9.Preliminary Final: St George v Red Bulls, Bassett Park, Sunday August 27, 3pm.BORDER LEAGUEPreliminary Final: Killarney 48 d Stanthorpe 10.Final Standings: Tenterfield 24, Killarney 20, Stanthorpe 11, Inglewood 5.Grand Final: Tenterfield v Killarney, Football Park, Tenterfield, Saturday August 26, 3pm.WESTERN RLPreliminary Final: Cunnamulla 36 d Tambo 24.Final Standings: Charleville 22, Tambo 19, Cunnamulla 11, Quilpie 8. Grand Final: Charleville v Cunnamulla, Charleville, Saturday August 26, 3.30pm (Curtain-raiser: Five Star Plate ? Tambo v Quilpie, 1.30pm).>>SOUTHERN DIVISIONQLD GROUP CUP (Ipswich)Round 18: Brothers 52 d Laidley 18, Fassifern 42 d Swifts 28, South Burnett 52 d West End 18, Norths 38 d Springfield 22, Goodna 66 d Redbank Plains 38.Final Standings: Brothers 34, South Burnett 30, Goodna 22, Norths 22, Springfield 19, Fassifern 17, Redbank Plains 14, West End 10, Swifts 9, Laidley 3. Finals: Minor Semi ? Norths v Springfield, QLD Group Stadium, Saturday August 26, 7.30pm. Major Semi ? South Burnett v Goodna, QLD Group Stadium, Sunday August 27, 3pm.SMARTLEND CUP (Gold Coast)Qualifying Final: Burleigh 38 d Runaway Bay 16.Elimination Final: Southport 42 d Beaudesert 10.Final Standings: Tugun 36, Burleigh 28, Runaway Bay 27, Southport 20, Beaudesert 18, Uni Parkwood 17, Tweed Heads 16, Nerang 8, Mudgeeraba 6, Helensvale 2. Finals: Minor Semi ? Runaway Bay v Southport, Owen Park, Southport, Saturday August 26, 5pm. Major Semi ? Tugun v Burleigh, Boyd Street, Tugun, Sunday August 27, 3pm.

NRL refuses to register Turner contract

THE National Rugby League has refused to register a three-year contract between Melbourne winger Steve Turner and his club. It means the 21-year-old Turner will be playing for the Gold Coast Titans next year unless he decides to sit out the next three seasons.

Re-scheduled: Young Guns v Redcliffe

PLEASE be advised that reigning QLD Wizard Cup premiers, the North Queensland Young Guns, will now host this weekend's qualifying final aginst Redcliffe at 3.30pm on SUNDAY August 27 at the Townsville Sports Reserve.[The match was previously advertised as being on Saturday evening, this is no longer the case]This event has been organised in conjunction with the Townsville and District Rugby League, who will stage an A Grade double-header beforehand.Fourth-placed TDRL club Burdekin faces University at 12.30pm, before Sharks United and Herbert River play off for second spot at 2pm.Redcliffe's 'Red and White' supporters club will travel to Townsville for the match and a weekend in the tropics, with the team to fly out on Saturday's QF974 at 2.05pm.In the other QLD Wizard Cup semi-final, Easts will be chartering buses to Tweed Heads for Saturday's elimination final.The Tigers will contest finals in all three grades on the day and supporters are urged to book seats early by ringing (07) 3397 4541.

Tonga and Asotasi update

BULLDOGS centre Willie Tonga has undergone season-ending surgery while Roy Asotasi will play again only if the club makes the NRL grand final.

Judiciary and Injuries

BULLDOGS forward Willie Mason is set be sidelined until the finals series after being charged by the NRL match review committee today.

Queensland Cup - Final Round Wrap

MATCH reports from Round 22 - the final regular season round in the QLD Wizard Cup.Included are full details of the minor premiership fight between Toowoomba and North QLD and the tense final 24 hours, when clubs Tweed Heads, Easts and Burleigh put their seasons on the line. TWEED HEADS 26 d WYNNUM MANLY 20BURLEIGH 42 d IPSWICH 22IT WAS drama on the high seas on the final day of the 2006 Wizard Cup regular season, as Coastal teams Tweed Heads and Burleigh were forced to ride out the ebb and flow of a captivating afternoon?s football.With Tweed needing to win to make the finals, the Seagulls trailed Wynnum Manly all the way until the 74th minute of their match at the Piggabeen Complex.Eager to pounce and steal their local rival?s position, sixth-placed Burleigh stood feverishly by the phones after accounting for Ipswich 42-22.The Bears were never headed by the Jets and as progress scores filtered between Piggabeen and QLD Group Stadium, fans of the perennial heavyweights grew in hope and stature.After 25 minutes Burleigh led Ipswich 12-0. At the same stage Tweed was in the doldrums at 0-10 against Wynnum.Halftime was little different. Burleigh led 18-6 and Tweed fell further behind at 20-6. Updates from south of the border began to arrive in gruff and grim tones.Two particular tries appeared to set the fate of the two clubs in stone.Moments before halftime at the Piggabeen Complex, Wynnum winger Rodney Barba snuck his way across for his side?s fourth try of the opening stanza. It suggested Tweed was as mentally drained as coach Steve Murphy feared after a fortnight where they were handed a 40-10 hiding by Redcliffe and a last-minute 24-20 defeat by Burleigh.Not long after, Burleigh centre Jordan Atkins crossed for a beauty of a try at Ipswich, repelling a brief fightback by the Jets and giving the Bears a 24-12 lead.Against all odds it appeared Burleigh had somehow secured its ninth finals appearance of the last decade, rising from the dead after a disastrous start to the year.What was also apparent however, was that with more stoppages in the Tweed Heads match, the Bears would finish their game earlier.And finish they did in style, piling on three more converted tries against this year?s wooden spooners to blow the final margin out.Bears players and officials had just enough time to get to the sheds, when news of a sudden momentum shift at the Piggabeen filtered through.Tweed had just scored two quick tries, one to Matt Pow and one to James Wood. Both had been set up by Dean Allen, the former Burleigh skipper.The score was now 20-16 in Wynnum?s favour and Burleigh supporters had one foot in the finals door and another foot wearing flip-flops for Mad Monday.Then came the decisive moment six minutes from fulltime, that split second upon which two tribes? fortunes hinged. Tweed put in a testing chip-kick over the top and Wynnum Manly fullback Tangi Ropati fumbled. Fittingly, the Seagull to swoop was captain Andrew Moroney, this very week reinstated to the starting line-up after a year beset by injury.Back at Ipswich phones were ringing hot and the word spread like wildfire.?20-all, 20-all.?A draw was all Tweed needed to cling onto fifth, but before there was even time to compute, goal-kicker Brad Davis added the extras and it was now 22-20 in favour of the Butcher Stripes.Tension was at an all-time high and Burleigh?s men found themselves where they have spent much of the season - sitting back and relying on others to fall over.That never happened however. Barely two minutes later will-o-the-wisp Wood was in for another try and Tweed had an unassailable 26-20 lead with the last sands draining from the hourglass.It was as if Murphy?s Men had hit the jackpot at Seagulls Leagues Club. The win not only guaranteed a finals spot, it brought the Spotless Club Championship to Tweed Heads for the first time and also gave the Seagulls the right to host next Saturday?s elimination final against Easts.While the cherries had come into alignment for Tweed, it was all lemons for Burleigh, the sudden twists in fortune leaving a sour taste after a spirited and defiant past month.The evening beforehand Bears mentor Jimmy Lenihan had sat through another nail-biting game when Easts and Central faced off. Lenihan badly needed the Tigers to lose, but they did not, recovering from a nil-all halftime score to win 12-6.Had Easts crumbled in the face of Centrals? strongarm tactics, Burleigh could have swept past them with the win on Sunday, regardless of Tweed?s result.As it eventuated, the edge-of-seat nature of the final round befitted a Wizard Cup season which was arguably the most unpredictable on record.While the top three clubs were clear leaders throughout the year, there was hardly a struck match between the rest.As a result the 22 points to make the finals was the lowest on record (for a season of 18 or more games) and the number of draws, 7, is the second-highest in competition history.Ipswich had more wins and scored more points than any other wooden spoon side, while the difference between fifth and last spot was a record low 14 competitions points.TWEED HEADS 26 (James Wood 2, Matt Pow, Andrew Moroney, Josh Peacock tries; Brad Davis 3 goals) d WYNNUM MANLY 20 (Rodney Barba, Luke Dalziel-Don, Bill Wyatt, Chris Currie tries; Rodney Barba, Daniel Evans goals) at the Piggabeen Complex.BURLEIGH 42 (Jordan Atkins 2, Trent Purdon, Trent Leis, Clay Harris, Robert Apanui, Luke Mercer tries; Reggie Cressbrook 7 goals) d IPSWICH 22 (Tyson Lofipo, Ricky Dodd, Chris Scanlan, Josh Costello tries; Aaron Werth 3 goals) at QLD Group Stadium.QLD WIZARD CUPElimination Final: Tweed Heads v Easts, Piggabeen Complex, Saturday August 26, 2pm * Live on ABC TVQualifying Final: North QLD v Redcliffe, Townsville Sports Reserve, Sunday August 27, 3:30pm.FOGS CUP Elimination Final: Wynnum Manly v Souths Logan, BMD Kougari Oval, Sunday August 27, 3pm.Qualifying Final: Easts v Burleigh, Piggabeen Complex, Saturday August 26, 12pm.FOGS COLTS CHALLENGEElimination Final: Aspley v Wynnum Manly, BMD Kougari Oval, Sunday August 27, 1.15pm.Qualifying Final: Redcliffe v Easts, Piggabeen Complex, Saturday August 26, 10.30am. TOOWOOMBA 22 d NORTH QUEENSLAND 6TOOWOOMBA has claimed the minor premiership for the third time in 11 years of the QLD Wizard Cup, beating North Queensland 22-6 in the final round showdown for top spot.By consigning the Young Guns to second place with a convincing display at Dairy Farmers Stadium, the Clydesdales can now enjoy a week?s rest before contesting the major semi final.In contrast North Queensland will now have to face dangerous Redcliffe in next Saturday?s qualifying final in Townsville. The winner of that game will then take on Toowoomba for direct passage to the grand final.History shows that on the two previous occasions that Toowoomba won the minor premiership ? 1996 and 2001 ? the Clydesdales went on to win the grand final.Coach Mark Gee would fail to be excited by such trivia, however he was understandably chuffed by the weekend?s performance on enemy territory.?The boys deserve all the credit,? said Gee, enjoying just his first year of coaching in the competition.?They?re a good group of young blokes. They?ve come together from all different situations.?We?ve had a fair few that are younger guys, some that have dropped back from the NRL, some local Toowoomba boys and others who started the year with Aspley (in FOGS Cup).?Assisting Gee?s cause on Saturday night was a powerhouse leadership performance by prop Nick Kenny, captain of the Clydesdales for much of the season. The Rockhampton junior was all over the park both in attack and defence.Toowoomba also had a lucky break after losing David Taylor (Arrive Alive Cup) and Dane Carlaw (NRL) during the lead-up. Teenage prodigy Greg Eastwood was declared fit and played, having been originally ruled out with an ankle problem.At the same time, Gee acknowledged the Young Guns were ?understaffed?, playing without the likes of linchpins Brent McConnell, Clint Amos and Brett Firman. Early season stars like Mark Henry and Gavin Cooper also seem to have found a regular place with the Cowboys.?I thought we were most probably a bit unlucky to be level 6-all at halftime,? Gee said.?We dominated a bit more than that. We let a few opportunities slip.?Gee said he favoured neither North Queensland nor Redcliffe as an opponent in the major semi final, saying there was ?no point having preferences? come finals time.His biggest headache may come in allocating positions when his full complement of players is available. Both Derricke Watkins and Joe Clarke successfully returned from injury against the Young Guns.Unlikely to now make the NRL finals, North Queensland will be checking Wizard Cup finals eligibility for all its players. The basic guidelines are 10 or more games in the Wizard Cup this year or a greater number of games in the Wizard Cup than in the NRL this year. TOOWOOMBA 22 (Ben Vaeau 2, Jamie Simpson, Chris Muckert tries; Ben Green 3 goals) d NORTH QUEENSLAND 6 (Ben Lowe try; Josh Hannay goal).EASTS 12 d CENTRAL 6EASTS has emerged sore and sorry, but most importantly alive for the finals after holding off spirited Central 12-6 at Browne Park.In an often heated affair, both teams were locked nil-all at halftime and the game rested in the balance right up until fulltime.For Easts the victory was crucial, meaning the Tigers were assured of a finals berth, regardless of Sunday?s results for fellow contenders Tweed Heads and Burleigh. . It was no easy passage however, up against a Central team looking to finish the year with three straight wins and buoyed by a monster home crowd.Certainly fiery Central prop Aaron Sweeney took no pity on the Tigers in his last hit-out of the year. The former lifesaver had an early dust up with Scott Sipple then moved through the Easts line-up, seemingly targeting Steele Retchless and Damien Durnford.An inconclusive video angle was all that had stopped him being charged for striking from the previous week?s match against Norths. He had no such luck avoiding referee Clayton Sharpe and midway through the second half he was pointed to the sin-bin for lashing out at Durnford.Moments before Sweeney?s 10-minute rest, Easts five-eighth Matt Lockyer had scored the first try of the game. While the Comets were at 12 men the Tigers crossed again after a beautiful angled hit-up from Mark Cantoni, making it 12-0It was fitting that Lockyer and Cantoni got the points, as both had worked hard through a fruitless first half. Another Tiger enjoying a great game was former Comet John Tamanika, absolutely smashing McConkie Tauasa and debutant Che Anderson with two bell-ringing tackles.Central had its own stars though and there was no faulting dynamic duo Misi Taulapapa and Wayne Barnett for their classy displays. Disallowed tries to Tauasa (forward pass) and Jimmy McConachy (knock-on) and narrow misses with in-goal grubbers by Christian Davies and Scott Porter had the potential to make the game even closer than the scoreboard indicated. It was not before time that the Comets crossed in the 73rd minute via Cheyenne Motu?s individual brilliance, sending the Tigers? hearts aflutter. Then as the clock wound down the Comets constantly sent the ball wide looking for the slightest gap. But as was the case all night, Easts stuck firm in defence, clinging to their man and their finals role.To advance through the finals, the Tigers must beat Tweed Heads in the elimination final at the Piggabeen Complex next Saturday, kicking off at 2pm. The match will be live throughout Queensland on ABC TV, later replayed on ABC 2 Digital and Fox Sports.EASTS 12 (Matt Lockyer, Mark Cantoni tries; Luke Branighan 2 goals) d CENTRAL 6 (Cheyenne Motu try; Scott Porter goal) at Borwne Park.NORTHS 64 d SOUTHS LOGAN 10NORTHS and Souths Logan will turn their attention to winning premierships in lower grades, after an inconsequential 64-10 win by the Devils over the Magpies in the final round of the QLD Wizard Cup.In a misleading end to Souths? best campaign of the past six years, the Magpies were out on their feet as the Devils ran them ragged at Bishop Park, consigning them to tenth place on the ladder.Held to a slender eight-point win over the Magpies in Round One, Norths experienced contrasting fortunes, finishing a largely disappointing season with a massive win on home soil.Regardless of the big victory the Devils finish the year in seventh spot, two places outside the finals and missing the post-season for just the second time since linking with the Melbourne Storm.Playing his last match for the club which gave him a representative springboard, teenage utility Jackson Nicolau collected a personal swag of 24 points from 10 goals and a try.The 19-year-old Innisfail product tallied 146 points this season, making him the third most prolific player in the competition behind NRL-experienced Greg Bourke and Luke Branighan.Another face of the future, Souths Logan?s Chris Sandow, again showed he has a touch of wizardry about him with some spectacular evasive maneuvers for the Magpies.However the pint-sized youngster couldn?t hide in defence and was found several times by the clever Norths attack.After being eliminated in the statewide league, both the Devils and Magpies will turn shift their focus to the FOGS Cup and FOGS Colts Challenge (Under 19) titles.Norths is seeking a third straight premiership in Colts after finishing the season as minor premier. The Devils beat Souths Logan 66-6 in the younger grade to comfortably finish first ahead of Redcliffe.Over the course of the season Norths? for-and-against was a whopping +449, scoring over 100 points more than any other team in attack and conceding over 100 fewer points than any opposition.Souths Logan will search for its first premiership in any senior grade since 1985 when it contests the semi finals of the FOGS Cup A Grade next weekend. The Magpie reserves rounded off their regular season campaign with a 46-36 win over much-improved Norths.Consequently the black-and-whites will now face Wynnum Manly in the elimination final next Saturday at .It has been a good 21 seasons since Souths has held aloft any silverware, having claimed both the Brisbane Rugby League first grade and third grade titles in 1985.In FOGS Cup, or its predecessor BRL Reserve Grade, the Magpies last won in 1984 when they beat Valleys 10-6 in the final. NORTHS 64 (Sam Tagataese 2, Jackson Nicolau, Chad Leach, Ryan Shortland, James Aubusson, Isaac Kaufmann, Matthew Bartlett, Troy Hansen, Brendan Afitu, Josh Tatupu tries; Jackson Nicolau 10 goals) d SOUTHS LOGAN 10 (Jason Mitchell, Chris McGurk tries; Chris Sandow goal) at Bishop Park.

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