ROUND 15 of Queensland Premier Rugby saw another Saturday afternoon jam packed with grassroots action, with three of four matches going down to the wire.

With just three matches left before the finals, the tussle at the top of the ladder is becoming heated. Here are five things we learned from Round 15:

1. GPS get the better of Wests
The clash between GPS and Wests was a seesawing affair, with both sides exchanging tries throughout the match.

The first half was plagued with dropped balls and missed opportunities from both sides, and it wasn’t until the 15th minute that winger Joseph Vuanivono opened up the scoring to give the Bulldogs an early 5-0 lead.

GPS answered back with True Protein High Performer and inside centre Alfonso Horomia scoring under the posts, and the conversion from James Tuttle put GPS ahead 7-5.

Wests captain and blindside flanker Jerry Lynch was next to score off a neat line-out move, but GPS flyhalf Davis Tavita scored from a pick and drive effort to put the Gallopers ahead 14-12 at the break.

Wests drew first blood in the second stanza with a penalty, taking a 15-14 lead. Again, Tavita scored from close range to put his side back in the lead 19-15.

GPS winger Isaac Weier was the hero for his side late in the match, combining with Tuttle to score off a kick ahead from fullback Pat Nicholson before securing the final turnover to end the match with GPS ahead 29-22.

Special mention needs to go to 20-year-old Wests winger Ben Navosailaga, who combined with Lachlan Maranta for arguably the try of the match in the 70th minute, but it wasn’t enough to secure the home side the win.

The result saw GPS move to the top of the ladder, tied with University of Queensland on 43 points, but they face a tough challenge this weekend as they travel to Souths.

2. Star power not enough for Souths on the Gold Coast
The clash between Bond University and Souths was the most publicised Premier Rugby clash heading into Round 15 with the return of Karmichael Hunt to rugby for the Magpies catching the attention of media outlets nationwide.

The Mapies got out to a 12-nil lead through individual efforts from winger Emori Waqavulagi and flanker Declan Dinnen, but the Bull Sharks were ready to make their presence known at ‘The Canal’.

Industrious captain Tai Ford put his side on the board through a pick-and-drive effort, before scrumhalf Harry Nucifora scored an absolute pearler of a try, darting from the base of the ruck, shrugging off the would-be defenders and sprinting 40 metres to score.

Nucifora slotted the conversion and a further penalty to give the home-side a 17-12 lead at halftime.

Post-match, Quade Cooper hailed Bond pivot Hayden Sargeant for his performance, with his individual brilliance on display as he scored the first try of the second half.

Off a line-out close to the Souths line, Sargeant got the ball at first receiver and put a grubber kick between two Souths forwards and sliced through the defence to dive on the ball for Bond’s third try.

Nucifora slotted the conversions to put the home side ahead 24-12.

Souths weren’t down and out however, with Waqavulagi scoring a further two tries to level the score at 24-all.

Cooper had a conversion in the final play of the match to secure the win, but pushed the attempt to the right of the post, seeing the match finish in a draw.

3. McReight returns to pull Brothers from the bottom of the ladder
Junior Wallabies openside flanker Fraser McReight played his first match for the Brethren on Saturday since departing for national duty in May, and crossed for a brace of tries to help Brothers claim a 27-24 win over Sunnybank.

McReight opened up the scoring to give his side a 5-nil lead, before flyhalf Jake Strachan converted his own try to put the Dragons ahead 7-5.

No further points were scored in the first half, but fans at Crosby Park were treated to a length-of-the-field effort from the Dragons to open the second stanza, with Isaac Lucas and Fred Dorrough combining to put winger Josh Coward over.

Coward crossed for a second soon after to give his side a 21-5 lead, before Brothers began their comeback.

A yellow card to Sunnybank outside centre Nick Kepu gave the Brethren a one-man advantage and they made the most of it with McReight crossing for his second.

A break from centre Sam Hicks saw Alex Gibbon score the home side’s third try, narrowing the margin to 21-19.

A penalty from Strachan saw the Dragons extend their lead to 24-19, before a break from Brothers fullback Chris Morgan led to a try for flyhalf Patrick James, which levelled the score at 24-all.

Sunnybank gave away a penalty in front of the posts late in the match, and Hicks stepped up to slot the kick and gift Brothers a 27-24 win.

Either way the result went, it would go a long way in determining who would finish the season with the wooden spoon.

For Brothers, the result should see them avoid their first spoon since 1937. On the other hand for Sunnybank, who now sit on the bottom of the ladder, they have never placed last since their elevation into Premier Grade in 1989.

4. Gale returns to render the Eagles flightless
Star scrumhalf Scott Gale returned from a knee injury after six weeks on the sidelines to help the Red Heavies claim a resounding 52-21 win over Norths, crossing for a hat-trick in the process.

Norths were first to score through No. 8 Reece Hewat, but the Students answered back with five straight tries, including two from Gale, to take a 33-7 lead.

Fullback Nick Chapman crossed for the Eagles before the end of the first half, seeing the two sides head into the sheds with UQ in the lead 33-14.

Nick Jooste scored a brilliant individual try to open the second stanza, which he converted, to narrow the margin to 33-21.

The Red Heavies responded with Gale scoring his third try from a pick-and-drive effort under the posts.

UQ crossed for a further two tries through forwards Sam Wallis and Sean Farrell to claim the 52-21 win.

The result sees University tied with GPS on 43 competition points on the ladder but in second place with GPS holding a slightly superior points differential.

5. Jenny Gillett becomes part of Brothers history
From John Eales bringing the William Web Ellis Trophy back to Crosby Park, to famed poet Rupert McCall and Australian singer/song writer Pete Murray providing post-match entertainment, Brothers Women’s stalwart Jenny Gillett has seen all that Brethren culture has to offer and many a milestone in her time with the club.

Last weekend she reached her own significant milestone, becoming the first woman to earn 100 caps for Brothers.

Gillett has had an association with Brothers that spans three decades, having made her debut in Round 3 of the 1996 season against University of Queensland.

Gillett started at hooker in her 100th game, and her side went down to Redlands 41-10.

She was presented her cap by Brothers and Australian rugby legend Paul McLean post-match, with women’s rugby advocates Josephine and Tony Sukkar also making the trip to Crosby Park from Sydney for the event.

In a further boost to Grassroots Rugby, Queensland Rugby Union’s official Brisbane FM radio partner, Triple M, has secured the naming rights to ‘Triple M’s Hospital Challenge Cup Match of the Round’ for the remainder of 2018 season.

The broadcaster, which has enjoyed a commercial relationship with the QRU for nearly three decades, will promote each Match of the Round across its platforms and carry interviews before and after each blockbuster, kicking off with the Round 16 Match of the Round between Souths and GPS at Chipsy Wood Oval.

The announcement comes just one month after the QRU and national TV broadcaster FOX SPORTS agreed to replay the Queensland Premier Rugby 2018 Hospital Challenge Cup Match of the Round each Wednesday evening.