Minor premiers Brothers have booked the first spot in the Queensland Premier Rugby grand final after beating defending Hospital Cup title-holders GPS 48-40 in the major semi-final at Ballymore.
It's a magnificent turnaround for the Brethren, who last won the Hospital Cup in 2016 but finished second-last on the Queensland Premier Rugby ladder last season and have made an incredible turnaround under Queensland Country mentor Rod Seib
The Brethren looked to have sewed up the see-sawing battle when Bradford Kapa scored in the 71st minute, with Rohan Saifoloi's conversion giving them a 48-35 lead.
But GPS scored with just over a minute remaining, leaving the Gallopers with a slim opportunity if they could nail the conversion and have the game restarted before the buzzer.
With the clock ticking, Reds playmaker Bryce Hegarty could not wait for a tee and narrowly missed his attempt off the turf, with Brothers holding on to book their place in the decider.
Captain Tom Moloney said he was not confident of the win until the end after Jeeps had won both round games this season.
"I don't think there was a point where I thought we had it, we just had to stay in the fight and we were on the right end at the final whistle," he said.
"A lot of effort went into that … there's obviously a few things we need to be better at in the next few weeks but it's a good start to the finals campaign.
"Jeeps have got a few old heads and if they get on top of you early it's a hard battle.
"They struck early but we knew to keep fighting and keep going at them, so that's what kept us in the game and maybe a bit of youth got us over in the end."
Brothers' Junior Wallabies forwards Fraser McReight and Harry Wilson were outstanding, scoring three tries between them.
While McReight struck early, Wilson's double proved pivotal, with his first-half effort from a kick charge-down keeping the Brethren in the hunt as GPS surged, while his touchdown from a rolling maul late in the second term helped them kick away from their rivals after a successful penalty conversion from Saifoloi minutes earlier had allowed them to overhaul the premiers by a point.
"Those boys coming back gave us a bit of a lift," Moloney said of McReight and Wilson.
"It's just that excitement they have for the club and it's really positive to see. They love coming back to play club footy and I think it's only a bit of time for them before they get their opportunities for higher honours.
"It's great to have them at the moment and they're adding a lot to the team."
GPS will take on the University of Queensland in this weekend's preliminary final after the Red Heavies beat Easts 51-12 in the knockout semi-final.
While Easts boasted Wallabies squad member Liam Wright and former Australian captain Ben Mowen, Uni were bolstered by the return of several Reds squad members, including Angus Scott-Young, Harry Hockings and Tate McDermott, who made his return from an ankle injury off the bench.
Brothers 48 - GPS 40
UQ 51 - Easts 12
JOHN I DENT CUP
Royals are through to the ACT grand final after a thrilling win over Tuggeranong on the weekend.
Both sides fielded some familiar names with Joe Powell, Lachlan Lonergan, Darcy Swain and Ryan Lonergan running out for the Vikings while Andy Muirhead was at fullback for Royals
Gungahlin were eliminated with a 25-19 loss to Uni-Norths Owls, with the Eagles finishing their year with three consecutive defeats.
The Owls will face off against the Vikings for a spot in the title decider in two weeks’ time.
Vikings 13 – Royals 21
Gungahlin 19 – Uni-Norths Owls 25
Sydney Uni has taken out the Shute Shield minor premiership to complete an incredibly tight Shute Shield season.
The students romped to a 51-6 win over West Harbour with Harry Johnson-Holmes, Nick Phipps, Angus Bell and Jake Gordon in their 23.
Phipps had a double for Uni while Gordon also found the line in the big victory.
Easts secured their spot in the finals with a win over Eastwood, led by a Lalakai Foketi hat-trick.
Waratahs squad flyhalf Mack Mason slotted 13 points for the Beasties in the clash.
Junior Wallabies winger Mark Nawaqanitawase came off the bench for Eastwood, while Ryan McCauley, Tom Staniforth and Mason all started for Easts.
Wallabies flyer Jack Maddocks missed a chance to push his Wallabies claims at Woollahra Oval, ruled out late with a cork suffered the week before.
Souths sprung a major upset over Warringah to rob them of top spot, to finish their season on a positive note.
Former battlers Gordon just missed out on a finals spot after a remarkable turnaround under new coach Darren Coleman, despite a comfortable win over Western Sydney.
Karmichael Hunt was impressive at outside centre for the Highlanders.
Waratahs hooker Andrew Tuala had a double for Norths and Cam Clark crossed as well but it wasn’t enough to get past Randwick in a thriller at North Sydney Oval.
A Will Harrison penalty sealed a tight victory for the Wicks, who also had Tahs scrumhalf Mitch Short in their run-on side.
Super Rugby players Michael Wells, Will Miller and Hugh Sinclair all started for Norths with Junior Wallabies backrower Pat Tafa on the pine.
Southern Districts 36 – Warringah 21
Easts 48 – Eastwood 26
Northern Suburbs 30 – Randwick 32
West Harbour 6 – Sydney Uni 51
Western Sydney 22 – Gordon 43
Saturday August 10
3pm - Sydney Uni (1) vs Manly (6), Sydney Uni
3:10pm - Warringah (3) vs Norths (4), Pittwater Rugby park
Sunday August 11
3:10pm - Eastwood (2) vs Easts (5), TG Millner Field
Rebels rookie Esei Ha’angana lined up for Melbourne in a comfortable win over Power House in the final regular Dewar Shield round.
The Unicorns will face off against fellow heavyweights Harlequins next weekend for a spot in the Dewar Shield grand final.
Box Hill and Melbourne Uni will be fighting to keep their title hopes alive in the other semi-final.
Harlequins 14 – Box Hill 12
Footscray 24 – Endeavour Hills 23
Melbourne 62 – Power House 5
Melbourne Uni 12 – Moorabbin 27
Saturday August 10
2;45pm - Melbourne (1) vs Harlequins (2), Melbourne Rugby Club
2:45pm - Box Hill (3) vs Melbourne Uni (4), Box Hill Rugby Club
FMG PREMIERSHIP DIVISION
Nedlands, Cottesloe and Wests Scarborough were all in the winner's circle in WA last weekend.
Nedlands 21 – Wanneroo 8
Cottesloe 27 – UWA 37
Associates 7 – Wests 14
Coopers Premier Grade
Burnside, Southern Suburbs and Old Collegians all enjoyed comfortable wins in the most recent round of Coopers Premier Grade.
Elizabeth and Woodville played out a draw while Brighton beat out Onkaparinga.
Burnside 96 – Adelaide Uni 3
Barossa 19 – Southern Suburbs 84
Port Adelaide 15 – Old Collegians 76
Elizabeth 12 – Woodville 12
Brighton 30 – Onkaparinga 7