Injuries and unavailability forced a wholesale overhaul of Past Brothers’ back-line for their Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership Major Semi-final showdown with minor premiers Easts at Salter Oval on Saturday, and the Magpies fully capitalised with their highly potent and established combination running amok in a 38-16 victory.
From their side which had ambushed Wests Panthers 30-16 in the Qualifying Final a week earlier, the Brethren were without their star centres Clinton Beer and Jake Thompson, and premiership halfback Taylar Barritt, with vastly experienced Club President Mat Templeman and Dan Finter coming into the centres, and Ben Schrader moving from the wing into the No. 7.
They all did their best, but their new combinations were predictably clunky at key moments, and the Magpies’ electrifying three-quarters Andreas Nona and Trent Seeds cut them loose with three and two tries respectively to lead the charge, while winger Billy Stefaniuk and halfback Tyrell Howard each picked up one four-pointer, along with hooker Arden Lankowski, who gave his usual polished service.
Dual BRL A Grade Player of the Year and captain Matt Craven missed out on a try, but he was always the pumping heart of the Easts attack, while crafty dual Premiership winning, and A Grade Player of the Year Clinton Horne was also always dangerous in attack and a fortress in defence.
Easts had lost their previous two games, including a 38-22 defeat at the hands of Brothers in the penultimate round, ending an eight-match winning streak, before also being edged out by Wests in the last rounds.
But they returned to their brilliant best and now, they are straight through to the grand final on Sunday week August 29, when they will attempt to break a 16-year club drought.
Brothers will get their last chance to keep their title defence alive when they meet Hervey Bay in the Preliminary Final this Saturday.
The Seagulls, who placed fourth on the ladder, before coming back from the brink of defeat to outgun Waves Tigers in extra-time in the Elimination Final, are now just one win away from a grand final berth after shocking the Panthers in a six tries to four triumph.
Their rock solid pack again laid the platform, with Anthony Gray, Slayde Johnson, Dion Bunyan, Travis Baumann and Isaac Mielczarek all scoring, along with mercurial playmaker Logona Vetemotu, who has been there through the tough times since their last premiership of 2016.
It was a good day all around for the Seagulls in the Minor Semi-finals, as they also thrashed the Magpies 44-6 in Reserve Grade with halfback Ben Hudson amassing 20 points with two tries and six conversions, and Brothers 36-16 in Under-18.
But Wests’ A Grade exit capped a disappointing day for the Panthers, who were also beaten in the U18 and Reserve Grade Major Semi’s by Wallaroos in both, 40-0 and 30-22 respectively.
FOOTBALL: Josh Watson and Golden Boot contender Gary O’Donnell each notched doubles as third placed Bingera produced a dazzling display on the eve of the finals to blitz second place Fraser Flames 7-2 in their Wide Bay Premier League Men’s penultimate round showdown at Martens Oval on Saturday.
Meanwhile, United Park Eagles (UPE) bounced back from their midweek loss to League Champions Across The Waves (ATW) to edge out Granville 3-2 and secure fourth place, but the hot and cold Brothers-Aston Villa (BAV) bowed out of contention with a 5-0 white-wash at the hands of their hosts Doon Villa.
Bingera, who are out of the Premier League Women’s finals race, finished their season on a high note with a 2-1 dispatch of UPE, who dropped from second to third.
AFL: Max Wright, who had kicked only 2 goals in his first 10 games of the season, broke free and bagged six to be the spearhead as reigning champions and hosts Across The Waves Eagles produced one of their best performances of the season to thrash 2020 beaten grand finalists Bay Power 14.12 (96) to 2.5 (17) in their Wide Bay Marquis Macadamias Seniors Premiership penultimate round clash at Frank Coulthard Oval on Saturday.
The Eagles will now take on the high flying unbeaten Hervey Bay Bombers at Norm McLean Oval this Saturday before a rematch with the Power in the semi-final.
HOCKEY: With the Bundaberg Hockey finals just two weeks away, four times defending premiers All Blacks ended their horror run with Dale Veivers smashing in a double in a timely return to form 6-2 drubbing of Raiders/Rovers in the second last round of the Division 1 Men’s competition at Hinkler Park on Saturday.
Their Division 1 Women were however pipped by Raiders/Rovers 1-0.
Waves Cities, who are confirmed minor premiers in both Divisions, again claimed the double against Arrows/Athletics, with Lachlan McLennan grabbing two for their Men in a 4-1 triumph, while their Women ran out 2-0 victors.
NETBALL: Waves Gold powered on unbeaten in their Bundaberg Warren Family Homes Division 1 Premiership title defence with a 62-39 romp against third seeds Alloway Blue in the penultimate round at the Superpark on Saturday.
However, their Blue side remained in fifth place after outgunning Natives Magpies in their bottom of the table shoot-out, while No. 2 Brothers Hurricanes unplugged Fusion Solomons 60-52.
Here are all the scores:
AFL WIDE BAY
MARQUIS MACADAMIAS SENIORS PREMOIERSHIP
ACROSS THE WAVES – Goal Kickers: Max Wright 6, Tyson Allen 2, Codie Welsh 2, Jason Bethune 2, Matthew McArdle, Trent Burchard. Best Players: Tom Laycock, Max Wright, Travis Esmer, Codie Welsh, Michael Blair, Matthew McArdle
BAY POWER – Goal Kickers: J. Wheeler, M. Schlein. Best Players: J. Agius, K. Cook, T. Clark, M. Schlein, J. Wheeler, M. Walsh.
Across The Waves 2.2, 4.2, 5.4, 6.6 (42) d Bay Power 1.2, 3.4, 5.5, 5.5 (35).
ACROSS THE WAVES – Goal Kickers: Dan Foggo, Kane Gould, Lachlan McLeod, Peter Gorup, Keiran Perry, Tobey Nunn. Best Players: Dan Nimmo, Will Mcrae, Dan Foggo, Josh Walker, Aaron Davis, Tobey Nunn. Nest: BAY POWER – Goal Kickers: K. Bugeja, H. Salisbury, J. Fredericks, J. McAlister, C. Miles. Best Players: J. Mudge, J. Rangi, G. Krohn, J. McAlister, K. Eichler, H. Salisbury.
Maryborough 3.1, 3.4, 4.7, 7.7 (49) d Brothers Bulldogs 0.5, 0.8, 1.9, 3.11 (29).
MARYBOROUGH – Goal Kickers: P. Moloney 2, S. Jeal 2, J. Wagner, B. McCracken, N. Lockrey. Best Players: H. Bidois, N. Simpson, L. Beetham, J. Porter, S. Jeal, B. Rohrlach
BROTHERS BULLDOGS – Goal Kickers: Joel Fry 2, Christian Roberts. Best Players: Kyle Anderson, Jay Rivett, Joel Anderson, Ethan Charlesworth, Joel Fry, Declan Cooper.
Bay Power 17.12 (72) d Across The Waves 2.0 (12).
Hervey Bay Bombers 13.9 (87) d Bothers Bulldogs 5.7 (37).
Bay Power 10.9 (69) d Hervey Bay Bombers Black 5.10 (40).
Brothers Bulldogs 12.9 (75) d Across The Waves 2.3 (15).
FOOTBALL WIDE BAY
PREMIER LEAGUE MEN
Round 19: KSS JETS 2 d SC CORINTHIANS 0.
BINGERA 7 (Josh Watson 2, Gary O’Donnell 2, Cody Breuer, Shane Youngberry, Joel Haack) d FRASER FLAMES 2.
SUNBURY BLUES 5 d DIGGERS 0.
DOON VILLA 5 d BAV 0.
Round 22: UPE 3 (Scott Bretag, Brendan Davis, Josh Adcock) d GRANVILLE 2.
PREMIER LEAGUE WOMEN
SUNBURY BLUES 8 d TINANA 0.
KSS JETS 6 d GRANVILLE 0.
BINGERA 2 d UPE 1 (Renee Simpson).
KSS JETS 6 d SC CORINTHIANS 1 (Jacob Smits).
BINGERA 3 d FRASER FLAMES 0 ON FORFEIT.
DIVISION 1 MEN NORTH CUP
BAV 2 (Tom Martin, Luke Dickinson) drew ATW 2 (Kurt Roberts, Lachlan Brown).
DIGGERS d UPE GREEN ON FORFEIT.
DIVISION 1 MEN NORTH PLATE
UPE RED 6 d BARGARA 2.
BINGERA 2 drew GIN GIN 2.
DIVISION 1 WOMEN NORTH
UPE 1 drew ATW MASTERS 1 (Brooke Land).
SC CORINTHIANS 3 (Kalani Irwin 3) d ATW DEVELOPMENT 1 (Amity Palmer).
BINGERA 4 (Rowan Mitchell, Cale Stayte, Hugo Timms, Zayde Kitching) d DIGGERS 1 (Caolan Craven-Hughes).
BARGARA STINGRAYS 7 d SC CORINTHIANS 0.
Raiders Rovers 8 (Elena Crow 1, Isaac Figallo 1, Courtney Kendall 1, Silvana Silvestro 5) defeated All Blacks 0
Arrows Athletics 4 (Eddie Rayner 1, Roqaya Eldeeb 1, Hamish Cook 2) defeated Waves Cities 1 (Sophie Aitkenhead 1)
Raiders Rovers 9 (Will Baldry 1, Jackson Howard 1, Riley Simpson 1, Silvana Silvestro 2, Mitchell Figallo 2, Riley Webb 2) defeated All Blacks 0
Waves Cities 5 (Ava McCaig 1, Connor Castelli 1, Campbell Baldwin 1, Gabi Aitkenhead 2) defeated Arrows Athletics 0
Raiders Rovers 2 (Riley Howard 1, Hailey Kendall 1) defeated All Blacks 1 (Isaac Wales 1)
Waves Cities 8 (Harrison Baldwin 1, Gabi Aitkenhead 1, Sam Aitkenhead 3, Jonty McMahon 3) defeated Arrows Athletics 1 (Liam Taske 1)
Div 2 Women
Raiders Rovers 1 (Reegan Wightman 1) defeated All Blacks 0
Arrows Athletics 3 (Emilie Petts 1, Malanie Stehbens 2) defeated Waves Cities 1 (Deanne Binder 1)
Div 2 Men
Arrows Athletics 4 (Martin Green 2, Jesse Beveridge 2) defeated Waves Cities 2 (Lachlan McLennan 1, Michael Callaghan 1)
Div 1 Women
Raiders Rovers 1 (Reegan Wightman 1) defeated All Blacks 0
Waves Cities 2 (Sarah Ryan 1, Milee Flanders 1) defeated Arrows Athletics 0
Div 1 Men
All Blacks 6 (Tristan Turner 1, Nathan McGill 1, Josh Kelly 1, Tristan Storm 1, Dale Veivers 2) defeated Raiders Rovers 2 (Colby Zahn 2)
Waves Cities 4 (Ethan Rach 1, Jerry Burtt 1, Lachlan McLennan 2) defeated Arrows Athletics 1 (Martin Green 1)
WARREN FAMILY HOMES DIVISION 1 PREMIERSHIP
BROTHERS HURRICANES 60 d FUSION SOLOMONS 52; WAVES GOLD 62 d ALLOWAY BLUE 39; WAVES BLUE 38 d NATIVES MAGPIES 27.
WAVES PURPLE 69 d NATIVES SWANS 34; ALLOWAY RED 59 d FUSION OCRETE 38; ALLOWAY GREEN 35 d NATIVES EAGLES 34; BROTHERS CYCLONES 48 d ALLOWAY WHITE 27.
BROTHERS LIGHTNING 31 d BROTHERS THUNDER 29; WAVES ROYALS 45 d NATIVES ROSELLAS 19.
BROTHERS TWISTERS 52 d BROTHERS MONSOONS 31; NATIVES PARROTS 44 d ALLOWAY YELLOW 27.
ALLOWAY MAROON 26 drew FUSION MAGIC SULTANS 26; NATIVES KOOKABURRAS 40 d NATIVES TOUCANS 23; WAVES PINK 42 d WAVES AQUA 35.
WAVES SAPPHIRES 45 d FUSION PRECISION 29; WAVES SILVER 44 d NATIVES PEACOCKS 39.
BROTHERS WILDFIRES 43 d NATIVES LORIKEETS 10; ALLOWAY AQUA 60 d BROTHERS WHIRLWINDS 10.
BROTHERS TYPHOONS 39 d FUSION DANS AUTO ELITE 26; ALLOWAY EMERALDS 36 d WAVES DIAMONDS 30.
BROTHERS VOLCANOES 13 drew NATIVES KINGFISHERS 13; FUSION SANDHILLS 25 d WAVES MAROONS 10.
BROTHERS AVALANCHES 14 d WAVES TEAL 13; ALLOWAY GOLD 42 d NATIVES HAWKS 2; FUSION FORCE 50 d ALLOWAY LAVENDER 12.
BUNDABERG BROADCASTERS A GRADE PREMIERSHIP
Minor semi-final HERVEY BAY SEAGULLS 34 (Logona Vetemotu, Anthony Gray, Slayde Johnson, Dion Bunyan, Travis Baumann, Isaac Mielczarek tries; Mitchell Laughton 5 goals) d WESTS PANTHERS 22 (Jensen Deamer, Caleb Tull, Marcus Tanner, Sam Robinson tries; Chris Robinson 3 goals).
Major semi-final: EASTS MAGPIES 38 (Andreas Nona 3, Trent Seeds 2, Billy Stefaniuk, Tyrell Howard, Arden Lankowski tries; Clinton Horne 3 goals) d PAST BROTHERS 16 (Kevin Sherriff, Royce Blair, Logan Tanzer tries; Zak Bainbridge, Logan Tanzer goals).
Major semi-final: WALLAROOS 30 (Edward Booth 3, Archie Sullivan, Brad Gela, Kynan Watson tries; Kynan Watson 3 goals) d WESTS PANTHERS 22 (Thomas Patch, Rick Nagas, Ashley Helmore, Ryan Sharpe tries; Ashley Helmore 2, Jacob Scadden goals).
Minor semi-final: HERVEY BAY SEAGULLS 44 (Ben Hudson 2, Ashley O’Donnell 2, Ruben Broome 2, Joel Denduck, Michael O’Shea tries; Ben Hudson 6 goals) d EASTS MAGPIES 6 (Blake Aplitt try; Jackson Paulson goal).
Minor semi-final: HERVEY BAY SEAGULLS 36 (Dylan Kingdom 2, Jonathon Bill 2, Darnell Murray, Dylan Bennett, Elias Broome tries; Dylan Bennett 4 goals) d PAST BROTHERS 16 (Thomas Blinco, Trae Morrice, Izac Pointon tries; Sam Thompson, Izac Pointon goals).
Major semi-final: WALLAROOS 40 (Joel Cox 3, Bailey Mills 2, Jonah MacDonald, Kayne Cooke, Johnathan Mansell tries; Noah Dawson 4 goals) d WESTS PANTHERS 0.
HERVEY BAY d BROTHERS ON FORFEIT.
Points: Hervey Bay 23, Wests 21, Brothers 16.
BROTHERS 38 (Joseph Doyle 2, Travis Larner 2, Jett Maher, Ben Medley, Blake Powter tries; Blake Powter 5 goals) d HERVEY BAY 0.
WAVES 24 (Tom Morcom 2, Emmanuel Iboro tries; 4 goals) d WESTS 16 (James Faulkner, Dominic Bunyoung, Matthew Telfer tries; Lucas brough 2 goals).
Points: Brothers 26, Waves 18, Wests 8 (-90), Hervey Bay 8 (-226).
HERVEY BAY d BROTHERS ON FORFEIT.
WAVES 28 (Owen Hess 3, Jimmy Gear, Brody Allan tries; Preston Walsh 2 goals) d WESTS 0.
MAGPIES 18 (Bentley Rizzo 2, Seth Frazer, Robert Hadwen tries; Robert Hadwen goal) d WALLAROOS 14 (Joe Franklin try; Rilee French goal).
Points: Waves 25, Hervey Bay 21, Brothers 18, Magpies 17, Wallaroos 8, Wests 1.
HERVEY BAY 16 (Rupeni Baravilala 2, Kyle Katene tries; 2 goals) d BROTHERS 10.
WESTS 20 (Isaac Williams 2, Kyjuan Tanna, Beau Molo tries) d WAVES 18 (Parkka Perrotta-Dowling 2, Liam Vaughan tries; Parkka Perrotta-Dowling goal).
WALLAROOS 52 d BEASTY BEARS 0.
Points: Wallaroos 26, Wests 24, Waves 19, Hervey Bay 13, Brothers 7, Beasty Bears 1.
More sport: Bowls results from across the region