The UQ Hounds are outright leaders of the Universities Rugby League Queensland competition after five rounds, leaping the Griffith Panthers and the QUT Trouts into top spot courtesy of an entertaining 34-18 victory over a steely Griffith Dragons outfit at Nathan.
The Hounds clicked into gear early, taking a 24-6 lead into the break but it was constant mistakes that derailed the home sides from mounting any kind of challenge.
It didn’t take long for UQ to extend their lead further with a backline movement seeing centre Kylan Lovai score out wide, with the Hounds Lachlan Pill slotting the sideline conversion to stretch their lead to 34-6.
Tries to Griffith’s Elisha Kiddie and Jesse Mumford added some respectability to the score line late in the piece.
It was a dramatic finish down at Parkwood, with a sideline conversion after the siren from Gold Coast winger Matthew Beaton seeing the home side hold on for a tight 16-all draw with fierce rivals, the QUT Trouts.
Clashes between the Panthers and Trouts are always spirited affairs, and this match did not disappoint. The Panthers snuck out to an early 6-0 lead, before tries either side of the half-time break allowed the visitors to take a 10-6 lead.
A second try to Panthers centre Carl Thurgood allowed the home side to draw level, before fleet footed Trouts five-eighth Richie Kay pounced on a loose ball and ran 50 meters to score what seemed to be the match winner.
But a Panthers penalty in the last five seconds provided the home side with one last play. In a desperate backline movement, it was Gold Coast winger Barney Shirley crashing over in the corner despite the best effort of the Trouts, with Beaton nailing the sideline conversion.
And it wasn’t a happy night for the Griffith Logan Redbacks up in a bitterly cold Toowoomba, with the USQ Ironbarks finally finding their groove, racking up a spirited 24-18 victory.
Led by inspirational skipper Ellis Jensen, the new look Ironbarks have taken a while to find their feet this season, but clicked into gear against the visiting Redbacks.
The Redbacks monster pack was again typically strong, allowing Tyrone Girle and Moses Utai to provide the flair for Logan.
The competition now goes on a six week hiatus during the University exam period, with Round six set to kick-off on the 30th of July.
Griffith GC Panthers 16 (Carl Thurgood 2, Barney Shirley tries;Matthew Beaton 2 goals)
QUT Trouts 16 (Kurt Dobbin, Richard Kay, Jonny Dore tries; Richard Kay 2goals)
UQ Hounds 34 (Mitch Chad, LachlanPill, Josh Damen, Dom Heidke, Kylan Lovai, William Daniels tries; Lachlan Pill5 goals)
Griffith Dragons 18 (Elijah Kiddie, Brad Ashcroft, Jesse Mumford tries;Brad Ashcroft 2, Luke Woods goals)
USQ Ironbarks 24 (Tyrone Jowett 2, KarlBirch, Ryan York, Brandon Tonkin tries; Ellis Jensen 2 goals)
Griffith Logan Redbacks 18 (Moses Utai, Brendon Black, Tyrone Girle tries;Matt Oliphant 3 goals)
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