The results of all three matches of this weekend’s Rugby League Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership will have great significance but the stakes will be high for one team in particular.
Cellar dwellers Waves Tigers are in a virtually do or die situation when they venture to Eskdale Park Maryborough for their Round 9 bottom of the table showdown with Wallaroos tomorrow at 5pm.
With seven rounds to go and currently on 4 points, two behind fifth placed Wallaroos, they must win to stay in major contention for a top-five finish and an accompanying finals berth, but after losing to their rivals 40-20 when they last met in Bundaberg on April 24, they will go in as underdogs.
On Sunday at Salter Oval, Hervey Bay Seagulls, who have slipped from first to fourth with four straight losses, also face a tough assignment against leaders Wests Panthers at 1.30pm, before, at 3pm, third placed reigning champions Past Brothers will need to stop the Easts Magpies juggernaut to consolidate a top-three spot and keep in their minor premiership hopes alive.
In the Northern Districts League, even with 5 rounds to go, South Kolan Sharks can lay claim to the minor premiership if they are able to upstage their hosts Gin Gin Hawks this Sunday at 2.45pm.
The all-conquering Sharks have defeated the Hawks 32-16 on Anzac Day and 44-12 on 15th May, and victory would extend their lead on the ladder to 6 points over Gin Gin, whose only 2 losses so far have been to them.
In the early men’s match on the program at 1pm, the win-less Miriam Vale Magpies will take on two-times defending premiers Avondale Tigers, who are improving and were far from disgraced in going down to Gin Gin 24-16 at home on Sunday.
In the Women’s League Tag, the first placed Hawks will suit up against the win-less Avondale Hornets at 12 noon.
In Bundaberg Junior Rugby League, in was a red-letter day for Brothers under-15 fullback and captain Blake Powter, grabbing four tries and kicking four conversions in a 28-16 dispatch of Wests Panthers at Salter Oval on Saturday.
After bursting out of a 3-game losing streak last week, Brothers-Aston Villa will have home ground advantage in their Wide Bay Premier League Men’s Round 10 duel with fellow equal-third placed United Park Eagles (UPE) at 6pm tomorrow.
Villa broke the shackles with a 6-2 blitz of the free-falling Bingera last week, while UPE suffered their second straight defeat, being outmuscled by joint-leaders Fraser Flames, and both teams will be desperate for the three points.
In the only other Premier Men’s match of the round in Bundaberg, co-leaders Across The Waves should be far too strong for seventh seeds KSS Jets, also at 6pm.
In away games, each also at 6pm, sixth placed Bingera must beat their hosts Granville to resurrect their hopes, last placed Diggers will face the might of the Flames, and SC Corinthians, who are 10th, will climb one position if they can account for Sunbury Blues.
There is only one Premier League Women’s game in Bundaberg this weekend, with UPE up against ATW at 8pm tonight at Martens Oval.
The other Women’s fixtures of the round are Fraser Coast derbies, both also tonight, with Tinana and Granville to square off, and KSS Jets to host Sunbury Blues.
There are again no Wide Bay Marquis Macadamias Senior Premiership fixtures in Bundaberg this weekend, with the only game to be at Norm McLean Oval tomorrow with the unbeaten Hervey Bay Bombers to host premiers Across The Waves Eagles.
The Eagles are coming off their first win of 2021 against a Bay side, a 41-point drubbing of Power a fortnight ago, before having the bye last week, but they will need to improve further to stop the Bombers domination after being blown away by them by 48 points on 17th April and 33 points on 15th May.
After being ambushed by Raiders/Rovers 3-1 when they last meet three weeks, ago, Bundaberg Division 1 Men’s leaders Waves Cities will have revenge on their minds when they meet again at Hinkler Park at 7.10pm tomorrow, after the two club’s Women go head-to-head at 5.50pm.
All Blacks are up against Arrows/Athletics with their four-times defending premiers Men, who are coming off an 8-1 thrashing by Cities, out to regroup when they hit the field at 4.30pm, and their Women suit up at 3.10pm.
Good luck to all Bundaberg teams which will compete in the Pam Moore Carnival for 11 years to Open teams in Gladstone this weekend.
Due to the carnival, there are no fixture games in Bundaberg tomorrow, with round 7 split over Wednesdays of this and next week.
In the one Warren Family Homes Division 1 Premiership game played on Wednesday, Fusion Solomons accounted for Alloway Blue 45-37.
Results of games 2nd June:
Division 1: Fusion Solomons 45 d Alloway Blue 37.
Division 2: Waves Red 44 d Fusion Ocrete 31; Alloway Red 45 d Brothers Cyclones 44; Alloway Green 53 d Alloway White 33; Natives Eagles 45 d Natives Swans 34.
Division 3: Brothers Lightning 28 d Natives Rosellas 22; Waves Royals 38 d Brothers Thunder 32.
Division 6: Waves Sapphires 40 d Waves Silver 28.
Division 7: Brothers Wildfires 37 d Natives Lorikeets 16; Alloway Aqua 45 d Brothers Whirlwinds 15.
Division 9: Natives Kingfishers 34 d Alloway Purple 19; Brothers Volcanoes 25 d Waves Maroon 9.
Division 10: Alloway Gold 33 d Natives Hawks 2; Fusion Force 38 d Alloway Lavender 5; Brothers Avalanches 25 d Waves Teal 15.
Four trainers notched doubles at this week’s meeting at Thabeban Park, Adam McIntosh, of Bray Park, Bundaberg’s Paul Burgess, Jeff Crawford (Buccan) and Peter Hare (Yengarie).
Adam was successful with track debutant litter siblings Amenadiel’s Lad in the Maiden, and Celeana, which made it five wins from 10 starts in a 5th Grade, while Paul got the money with Stop It Bella, which snapped an 8-race losing streak in the Novice Non-Penalty, and outsider Velocity Tonelli ($8) in the 4th Grade.
Jeff saluted the judge with Ringbark Rage, which made it 2 wins and a second from the past 3 Bundaberg race days in a 460m 5th Grade, and hot favourite Perfect Freeze ($1.70), which gave its rivals a running lesson in a 550m 5th Grade, taking her record to 7 wins and 3 minor placings from 17 starts.
Peter triumphed with Blackpool Amour in another 550m 5th Grade and veteran Inquisitive Me, which took his record to 23 wins, 16 second and 18 thirds from 99 starts in the Best 8.
Bundaberg’s David Raines was also among the winners with Zeke The Freak in a 460m 5th Grade.