Gladiators slip from top to semi-final oblivion after bye
THE worst case scenario for the Goodna Gladiators came true.
A final round bye has seen the Gladiators go from leading the Barber Cup to missing out on semi-finals in one round.
All four teams below the Gladiators won, moving ahead of the Goodna team and ending their season.
Ipswich Rangers could offer no resistance to Wynnum, who secured the minor premiership with a 60-12 loss at Woodend Park.
Caboolture finished third after a 61-19 thrashing of Pine Rivers and Everton Park beat wooden spooners Brisbane Irish to move into fourth spot.
Springfield were the most likely team to help the Goodna cause.
Having won their past five straight, the Hawks had cause for optimism against defending champions Redlands at Springfield Lakes.
A win would have seen Redlands kept out of the top four and Goodna go through.
But Redlands showed what they were made of, downing the Hawks 25-15, having led 25-5.
Springfield coach Jeremy Clark wasn't sure if it was a matter of Redlands being more motivated than his team.
They still had a finals spot to play for while Springfield knew it would be their last match of the season, win, lose or draw.
But Clark does not think his team were short of competitive fire.
Rather, he was left to lament the absence of his first choice back row.
Number eight Juane Houston was already on the injured list when the Hawks lost blindside flanker Hofeni Matamua to injury last weekend.
It coincided with open side flanker Zac Subritzky's wedding and subsequent honeymoon.
Clark expects Redlands to be hard to beat now they have qualified for finals.
For Goodna it was the worst possible way to have their finals chances rubbed out - without getting to fire a shot in reply.
"We'd rather have battled it out on the field," club president Felila Fangaloka said. "But that's just how it goes."
It was better news for Goodna in the Pegg Cup.
The Gladiators were assured of second spot, irrespective of other results.
They are joined in the Pegg Cup finals by Springfield, who will go into the play-offs confident following their 22-19 defeat of Redlands.
Also in the Pegg Cup, Rangers went down 38-5 to minor premiers Wynnum.