Sunshine Coast Falcons had already clinched the Intrust Super Cup minor premiership before yesterday's draw with a determined Ipswich Jets outfit, while Easts Tigers were unable to create any winning momentum heading into finals, going down to the Townsville Blackhawks in a tight tussle at home.
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Ipswich Jets 28-28
The Falcons were without Harry Grant, Todd Murphy and Nicho Hynes and the lack of experience showed in the opening 40 minutes, as the home side made uncharacteristic errors and missed scoring opportunities.
Ipswich held a daunting 28-10 lead with only 20 minutes to play, before Lachlan Roe scored a double and Cooper Johns converted both tries to close the margin to 28-22.
Following a solid set of six where the Falcons forwards carried their side downfield, fullback Nathan Saumalu delivered a sharp short ball to centre Curtis Scott who dove over the line in the 75th minute to bring the Falcons within two points.
Johns was able to level up the scores at 28-28, nailing a pressure kick from the sideline within three minutes of full time.
Townsville Blackhawks d Easts Tigers 22-20
Top eight teams Townsville Blackhawks and Easts Tigers both came out firing at Langlands Park, with the Blackhawks taking an early lead.
The half time score was 10-4 to the Blackhawks and the visitors were first to score after the break, extending that lead to 16-4.
Easts didn't take the foot off the pedal, with Billy Walters crossing for the home side in the 51st minute.
This was followed by back-to-back converted tries as the Tigers claimed the lead, however another converted try for the Blackhawks inside the final 10 minutes sealed victory for Townsville.
"We’ve been building for the last three weeks for semi finals," Tigers coach Scott Sipple said post-match.
"I know we haven’t got the results, but it’s about next week - a new comp starts next week and we’re in it."
Finals Week 1
Sunday, September 8
Sunshine Coast Falcons (1) v Townsville Blackhawks (4) at Sunshine Coast Stadium. Kick-off 2pm.
Norths Devils (5) v Easts Tigers (8) at Bishop Park. Kick-off 1.10pm.