Jets, Tigers survive Week One of finals
The Ipswich Jets and Easts Tigers have kept their premiership hopes alive with sudden-death wins in Week One of the Intrust Super Cup finals series but only one will progress through to Week Three.
The Jets piled on nine tries in their 54-26 win over defending premiers Northern Pride while the Tigers survived a second-half scare to overcome Wynnum Manly 32-24.
The Jets will now host the Tigers in another sudden-death encounter in Week Two of the finals, with the winner set to play the loser of the qualifying final between the Townsville Blackhawks and PNG Hunters to be played at Jack Manski Oval on Saturday.
The Jets got off to a flying start at North Ipswich Reserve and led 18-0 before the Pride could respond through captain Brett Anderson just shy of the 20-minute mark.
Javid Bowen crossed for the Pride's second try five minutes later to bring the visitors within eight points but that margin was as close as the defending premiers would come to knocking off the hosts.
Both sides traded tries early in the second half but the turning point came in the 54th minute when Ipswich fullback Carlin Anderson channelled his inner Harry Kewell to score one of the tries of the season.
The 19-year-old who will join the Broncos next season toed the Steeden ahead four times during a 50-metre soccer-style dribble that sent the Ipswich locals into hysterics and left the Pride deflated.
The resilient Pride refused to go away and came within 10 points of the Jets heading into the final 15 minutes until man of the match Matt Parcell bagged his second try to take the lead beyond two converted tries with seven minutes remaining on the clock.
Ipswich scored again in the dying stages to take the final score to 54-26 and set up another home elimination final.
Their match-up against the Easts Tigers will be Channel Nine's (Queensland) Sunday afternoon match with a scheduled kick-off time of 1.35pm.
It was similar one-way traffic at BMD Kougari Oval where Easts booked their date with the Jets on the back of a rousing first-half display against the Seagulls.
The Seagulls were warm favourites prior to kick-off having beaten the Tigers twice already in 2015 but the home crowd was silenced as their eastern Brisbane rivals piled on five first-half tries to lead 26-6 at the break.
The 'Gulls responded as expected in the second stanza but Craig Ingebrigtsen's men held firm to record a 32-24 victory to keep their hopes of a third successive grand final appearance alive.
Week One finals results
Elimination Final 1
IPSWICH JETS 54 (Carlin Anderson 2, Matt Parcell 2, Marmin Barba, Josh Cleeland, Dane Phillips, Keiron Lander, Billy McConnachie tries; Carlin Anderson 9 goals) def. NORTHERN PRIDE 26 (Brett Anderson 3, Javid Bowen, Ben Spina tries; Justin Castellaro 3 goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.
Elimination Final 2
EASTS TIGERS 32 (Richard Kennar, Mahe Fonua, Brent Warr, Tommy Butterfield, Felise Kaufusi, Jake Foster tries; Shaun Nona 4 goals) def. WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 24 (Matthew Smith 2, Matthew Grieve, Mitchell Frei tries; Mathew Seamark 4 goals) at BMD Kougari Oval.
Week Two finals fixtures
Qualifying Final: Saturday, September 12
Townsville Blackhawks v PNG Hunters – 5pm at Jack Manski Oval.
Elimination Final: Sunday, September 13
Ipswich Jets v Easts Tigers – 1.35pm at North Ipswich Reserve. (Live on Channel Nine)