LIST the reasons why you love rugby league and chances are all those factors were present in the weekend�s 36-22 win by Toowoomba over Redcliffe.
Whether it be big hits, slick attack, improvised play, established stars, young up-and-comers, a history of rivalry or dramatic twists and turns � this game had it all as the two sides offered a prelude to finals footy.
Set to meet again in a fortnight�s time for an elimination semi, the Clydesdales and Dolphins carried on a tradition of entertainment which has seen them meet in three Queensland Wizard Cup grand finals.
Although it is impossible for the clubs to square off in the decider this season, there is no doubt they deserve to be among the five teams fighting for the crown.
Saturday�s showdown at Clive Berghofer Stadium provided a horror start for the home side when fullback Nick Parfitt fumbled a kick return on his team�s very first possession.
However circumstance quickly swung around and by the seventh minute, Toowoomba had posted the opening two tries.
One of the finds of the season, winger Denan Kemp, featured in both four-pointers, touching down after lead-up work by Anthony Seibold and Darren Mapp, then perfectly angling an off-balance kick for Berrick Barnes to score.
When Greg Eastwood and Michael Ryan narrowly missed chances shortly after, it seemed as if the floodgates were about to open.
But strangely, after seeing front rower Adam Starr injured in a thumping Sam Thaiday tackle, Redcliffe lifted and responded. Back from a shoulder injury Nick Emmett flew high to claim a Jamie Russo bomb and the Dolphins were only behind 8-6.
Arguably the try of the afternoon came in the 28th minute through Michael Bond, with Barnes grubbering to the wing and Kemp then sliding through two defenders to toe the ball ahead again.
An exchange of tries boosted the score out to 18-12 at halftime and then 26-12 at the hour mark, the upper hand remaining with Toowoomba.
Unwilling to submit though, the Dolphins staged a comeback, mindful that home ground advantage during the finals could be at stake. Successive tries brought the score back to 26-22 with the clock winding down and the contest was on in earnest.
In the end it took the calm head on young shoulders of Barnes to deliver the knockout combination, sending across hard-working forwards Seibold and Nick Kenny with cleverly orchestrated passes.
Victory to Toowoomba means either team can now finish fourth, with results in next week�s final round deciding the ascendancy. The Clydesdales face North Queensland in Townsville on Saturday, while the Dolphins have an equally difficult battle with Norths at Dolphin Oval the same day.
TOOWOOMBA 36 (Nick Parfitt, Berrick Barnes, Denan Kemp, Greg Eastwood, Michael Bond, Anthony Seibold, Nick Kenny tries; Berrick Barnes 3, Nick Parfitt goals) beat REDCLIFFE 22 (Liam Georgetown 2, Nick Emmett, Michael Roberts tries; Greg Bourke 3 goals).
This article is courtesy of the QRL for more Queensland Wizard Cup information visit www.qrl.com.au