Bluff upset the Panthers at home
With only two rounds to go, the Bluff Rabbitohs caused an upset on Friday night, defeating Middlemount 32-12 at home.
The two sides battled it out with Middlemount props Joe Taotofi and Michael Morrissey taking it up to the Bluff defence.
Many raids were on for both sides and Mitch Wyatte and Joel Duffy were in the mix of things.
Bluff’s big men, Trent Hooper and Billy Byrne were taking Bluff forward.
Dane Heron, Peter McLaughlin and the Wogand brothers, Jade and Gus, were showing the team around and making inroads.
After 26 minutes, Dane Heron went over first for Bluff on the end of the backline.
The sides were battling for territory all game.
Next, Chris Conway, who looked dangerous every time he ran the ball, chip kicked and regathered to score near the posts.
Middlemount’s Ryan Hansell was trying everything to gain ground but the Bluff defence was tight.
Middlemount got penalised for two double movements tries which didn’t help them. After 35 mInutes Mitch Wyatte who also looked dangerous when in possession was over for his own try the score was 12-6 to Bluff.
With three minutes until halftime, Peter McLaughlin created some McLaughlin magic and ran through a hole to be over to give Bluff an 18-6 lead at the break.
The Panthers were getting frustrated and couldn’t finish off their good work.
Both Panthers wingers Matt Howard and Matt Heidecker were running the ball back and making plenty of ground.
Bluff’s Blake Vesey was playing a good game at fullback taking the bombs and returning the football to make ground.
The halftime break gave both sides a breather and allowed each team to regroup.
They once again battled it out for ground but the Middlemount forwards couldn’t break Bluff’s defence and Mitch Wyatte was taking more rucks than normal.
Mark Catt was tight in defence.
After 20 minutes into the second stanza, Chris McKay was on the end of a backline and went over for his first try.
Four minutes later, Jade Wogand chip kicked and Dane Heron regathered to run in and score.
Bluff were getting away on the scoreboard and Chris McKay went in again out wide, beating the defenders once again to rub salt into the wounds.
At 32-6, Joel Duffy was repaid for his good game with good lead up work to score a try in the final two minutes to make it 32-12 at fulltime.
Middlemount were down on their normal troops and missed the go forward.
Bluff are a side that know how to keep playing and should be watched come semifinal time.
The man of the match was Dane Heron from Bluff.
In other results, Clermont meant business with a 74-19 win over Emerald Cowboys, The Springsure Mountain Men beat Blackwater 22-4 and Dysart forfeited to the Emerald Tigers.
In the Women’s, the Emerald Tigers defeated the Dysart Bulls 68-18.
The match of the weekend coming up will be the Clermont Bears at home to the Springsure Mountain Men.
Either side need to win to host the qualifying semifinal.
The Polly Pratt shield is on this weekend in Emerald with the Cowgirls playing host to the Tigers.
Middlemount host their 35-year reunion with a must-win game against Blackwater on Friday night.
Get down to your local footy this weekend.