Dennis will chase magic 300 after derby thriller
After almost helping to derail the finals hopes of his former club Easts Tigers in the local derby, ageless Phil Dennis will ask the Souths Logan Magpies for one last season in the black-and-white.
Dennis lasted 74 minutes of the tense 36-34 contest at Suzuki Stadium Langlands Park and was first to score for the Magpies.
The clash was only sealed in the Tigers’ favour after a Marion Seve try two minutes from fulltime was converted by Brayden Torpy from out wide.
Until that moment the Magpies held the edge, desperately looking to save face after entering the contest with nine losses from their last 10 games, eliminating them from the finals race.
They nearly pulled the carpet from Easts in similar fashion, on the same afternoon that fast-finishing Ipswich belted Tweed Heads 52-16.
Dennis confirmed after the contest that he would put a case forward to Magpies management for a 17th season in the Intrust Super Cup.
“I’m keen to play on in 2019 and for it to be my final year,” said Dennis, bound to turn 35 next year.
“I still need to chat to Souths though.”
Dennis should finish the season on 275 Intrust Super Cup games, having recently overtaken Troy Lindsay’s previous competition best of 270 games.
If Dennis were to play every fixture game for the Magpies next season and then take the long route through the semi-finals, he could reach the magic mark of 300 games.
A player at the opposite end of his career – boom Tigers fullback Scott Drinkwater – was named Hastings Deering Man of the Match on Sunday, extending a truly remarkable purple patch of form.
Drinkwater is one of the prime candidates to replace Billy Slater at fullback for the Melbourne Storm next year, though Jahrome Hughes and potentially Cameron Munster stand in his way.
Easts did well to overcome a disrupted preparation, with playmaker Brodie Croft called up by the Storm, Sam Kasiano out after his debut the week before and Dave Tyrell returning from suspension.
The Tigers have now won eight of their last nine games and have risen from the doldrums to a team other finals contenders will be looking over their shoulder at.
In a remarkable rise, Leon Ellia-Niukore was the first try-scorer of the day for Easts after being rushed in as a replacement, having featured earlier this season for Waterford in the Brisbane Rugby League Reserve Grade, effectively two steps below the statewide competition.
Easts finish the regular season with a home clash against Burleigh next week in the Channel 9 televised game on Saturday, while Souths Logan finish their campaign against Mackay at BB Print Stadium the same night.
EASTS TIGERS 36 (Leon Ellia-Niukore, Brett Kelly, Tommy Butterfield, Scott Drinkwater, Linc Port, Marion Seve tries; Brayden Torpy 6 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 34 (Phil Dennis, Daniel Tamou, Sam Scarlett, Brendon Gibb, Paul Rokolati, Travis Waddell tries; Guy Hamilton 5 goals) at Suzuki Stadium Langlands Park.
|9||Souths Logan Magpies||23||10||13||0||1||534||499||35||22|
|10||Sunshine Coast Falcons||23||10||13||0||1||453||464||-11||22|
Results | All Grades
Hastings Deering Colts
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 36 (Jacob Alick 2, Bruce Ten, Blake Scott, Kye Oates, Fai Smalley tries; Tanah Boyd 6 goals) def EASTS TIGERS 22 (Jared Chambers 2, Unga Wolske, Lorenzo Mulitalo tries; Nathan Brown 3 goals) at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park.
|4||Wynnum Manly Seagulls||24||12||6||1||5||547||402||145||35|
|5||Souths Logan Magpies||24||12||6||1||5||500||370||130||35|
BRISBANE RUGBY LEAGUE – A GRADE
Easts Tigers 28 def Souths Logan Magpies 8
|2||West Brisbane Panthers||20||12||7||1||0||486||437||49||45|
|3||Wynnum Manly Seagulls||20||11||7||2||0||434||366||68||44|
|6||Souths Logan Magpies||20||6||14||0||0||323||532||-209||32|