The race for the Intrust Super Cup top five is now down to nine teams after Norths Devils bowed out of the finals race by going down 31-24 against Souths Logan Mapgies at Davies Park on Sunday.
With the cut-off for a finals position currently occupied by the Ipswich Jets on 28 points, Sunday's seven-point loss against the Magpies means the 10th-placed Devils, who are on 18 points, can start planning for their end of season trip. Defending premiers Mackay Cutters and the PNG Hunters also recorded comfortable victories to keep their finals hopes alive while Tweed Heads, Northern Pride and Ipswich were also winners in Round 21.
PNG all but ended the season of ninth-placed Burleigh after they thrashed the Bears 56-12 at Kalabond Oval with try-scoring sensation Garry Lo, Adam Korave and Willie Minoga all crossing for doubles. Burleigh currently sit on 21 points and will receive an automatic two points for a bye this weekend meaning they can still make the finals, but would be required to win their remaining four games in order to do so.
The Hunters (sixth on 25 points) are still three points behind a finals berth but are better positioned than Souths Logan (seventh, 22 points) and the Mackay Cutters (eighth, 22 points). Redcliffe Dolphins, CQ Capras and Sunshine Coast Falcons are the now only playing for pride.
In the race for the minor premiership the Northern Pride have kept their five-point lead on top of the ladder intact with a 28-20 win over Wynnum Manly, Ipswich beat Easts 22-18, Mackay accounted for Redcliffe 30-20 and Tweed Heads defeated Central 35-24. Tweed's win sees them move into second place on the ladder with 31 points and sets up a tantalising clash with the Pride on Sunday in Cairns which will be played as the curtain-raiser to the NRL clash between the Rabbitohs and Knights.
Easts Tigers have now dropped to third on 29 points with Wynnum Manly and Ipswich rounding out the top five and each with a bye still in hand.
With the top five beginning to solidify, PNG can keep the pressure on the Seagulls and Jets if they can overcome the Devils at home in the kick-off to Round 22 action. The other Saturday afternoon games see Ipswich Jets host Mackay Cutters and the Sunshine Coast Falcons heading to Gladstone to take on the CQ Capras.
Sunday's matches see the Northern Pride at home to Tweed Heads Seagulls while the remaining two games are Brisbane-based fixtures, with Redcliffe Dolphins and Wynnum Manly battling out for peninsula pride and Souths playing host to Easts Tigers.
For full results from Round 21 and the updated Intrust Super Cup ladder click here.