Queen’s claimed their ninth successive victory against Dale when they won 27-18 at the Rec on Saturday.
But while the hosts had 67% of the possession they led just 20-18 midway through the second half before a late try put the result beyond doubt.
Flyhalf Joshua Stander opened the scoring with a penalty, before a handling error by Dale saw the ball kicked downfield by Queen’s and outside centre Solanga Maholwana scored the first try.
Dale got on the scoreboard via a penalty from scrumhalf Bungi Kobese, which was followed by an unsuccessful attempt from Stander.
However, Queen’s scored a try from the resulting 22m drop out when right wing Matthew Eales caught the ball on his 10m line and beat a defender before offloading to outside centre Solanga Maholwana. He then passed to No 8 Johan Meyer who charged 40m down the right-hand touchline to score in the corner.
Just when it looked as if Queen’s would run away with things, a poor grubber kick allowed Dale left wing Milani Mqayi to race over under the posts. Kobese converted and then kicked a penalty to make it 15-13 at half-time.
Queen’s struck first in the second half when a driving maul from a lineout saw flank John-Dylan Futter go over for his side’s third try, but Dale hit back when right wing Yamkela Ngam went over two passes after a quick penalty tap. At 20-18 with 17 minutes to go, it was anyone’s game.
However, Queen’s finished the match strongly and were rewarded for their territorial dominance when captain and tighthead prop Allan Dell crashed over for a try that was converted by Stander.