Seven remain in Intrust Super Cup contention
Only seven teams remain in contention for this season's Intrust Super Cup premiership as the competition enters its penultimate round of matches before finals.
The top six remained unchanged at the conclusion of Round 23's 'Get in the Game' Country Week, as teams travelled to six regional communities across Queensland to promote the game.
The battle for the minor premiership is yet to be decided after the Townsville Blackhawks and PNG Hunters won their respective matches over the weekend to remain on 39 competition points each.
Ladder-leaders Townsville came from 18 points behind to shoot down the Ipswich Jets 36-28 in a thrilling game at Charters Towers to kick off Country Week on Saturday.
Despite a healthy points differential of +476 compared to PNG's +211, Blackhawks coach Kristian Woolf isn't thinking of the minor premiership just yet with games to come against the improving Sunshine Coast Falcons and Redcliffe Dolphins.
"It would be great to win the minor premiership but it's not something that we're talking about or worrying about that's for sure," Woolf said.
"We're taking each game at a time and I know it's a bit cliché but it is what we're doing. The Sunshine Coast, if you have a look at the line-up they're throwing up the last couple of weeks with the Melbourne [Storm] boys, they will be hard to beat.
"We can't go any further than that and we're going to make sure we get a really good performance against them."
The Hunters are waiting in the wings to snare top spot should either the Falcons or Dolphins ground the Blackhawks in the final two rounds of the season, but will have to overcome Mackay (away) and Burleigh (home) in order to do so.
Under the 2015 finals format, first and second place will receive a bye in Week One of the finals before playing each other in Week Two's Major Semi-Final for a place in the Grand Final with the minor premiers to host the all-important clash.
Meanwhile, Mackay can start planning for 2016 after slumping to their fourth-straight loss in a 40-28 defeat against Norths at Dalby.
The 12-point defeat allowed Redcliffe to leapfrog the Cutters into seventh place after they kept their faint finals hopes alive with a 34-26 victory over defending premiers Northern Pride at Innisfail's Callendar Park.
The result moves the Dolphins to within three points of the Pride, although they must win both of their remaining matches against the fifth-placed Easts Tigers (home) and Blackhawks (away), while relying on the Pride to lose their games against 12th-placed Norths and wooden spoon recipients CQ Capras.
In other results, Easts escaped with a narrow 20-18 win over Souths Logan, Burleigh came from 10 points behind at half-time to pip the Falcons 18-16 and Tweed Heads scraped past the Capras by four points.