Perennial game-breaking all-rounder Trent Seeds bagged a double as a 13-man East Bundaberg Pythons breathed life into their Rugby Bundaberg Elders Insurance Spring Cup campaign with a stunning 29-15 ambush of Turtles Brothers in their penultimate round showdown at Waves Sports Complex on Saturday.
Pythons had lost five of their first six games of the season, including an 82-10 mauling at the hands of Barbarians a week earlier, and had forfeited their other match, while Turtles were on a four-match winning streak and had burst the bubble of the previously unbeaten two-times defending premiers Fraser Coast Mariners 29-20 at their previous outing.
But form was blown out the window as East ran out convincing winners five tries to two.
Pythons Assistant Coach and Club Vice-President Victor Nio praised his players for the most unlikely victory which elevated them into fourth place on the ladder, overtaking Waves Falcons, before their virtual semi-final last-round duel with them this Saturday.
“We only had 10 players three minutes before the scheduled kick-off at 4.30pm and we asked for a bit more time and they gave us until 4.45pm, with a few playing cricket running late, and we were very lucky to get 11 by then because you can only play when you can field 11 players,” Victor said.
“So, we started with 11 for the first 10 minutes but managed to score a try, through Willie Nagas, until two more players turned up, but we only had 13 for the rest of the match, so to win was just amazing.”
Jackson Paulson, who started as Scrum-half but alternated positions with Willie Nagas to No. 8 throughout the game, was their Man of the Match.
“Jackson and Willie are very versatile utility players, and they steer the team around in defence and attack, but Trent (who was one of the late arrivals after completing his cricket commitments for East Bundy Magpies) can also score tries from anywhere, and Bennett Ottineru and our captain Isaiah Gala were also very good,” Victor said.
Victor said it would have been easy to fly the white flag, but he paid tribute to their character and the work of tireless Club President Zak Menhennett, who was not there to savour the moment.
“What fired up the boys was that about a half-hour before kick-off, someone phoned the BRU secretary and told him that Pythons were forfeiting, but it did not come from the club, and that rumour got under their skin and added fuel to the fire, and the boys went in and gave it their all,” he said.
Pythons moved to 6 points, with in the wash-up to the day, Mariners securing another minor premiership, going to 31 points with an 18-all draw with West Barbarians in the later game on the program, with Turtles remaining in second on 23 points but ruing the end of their quest for No. 1 position, with Barbarians staying in third spot, now on 22 points, and Falcons stuck on 5 points and dropping to fifth and last.
Pythons now need only a draw with Falcons this Saturday to secure fourth place and a semi-final clash with top of the table Mariners a fortnight later, and Victor is confident they can win again after going down to Waves 17-10 when they last met on 23rd October.
“I hope this win will bring everybody back – it has certainly lifted spirits and determination, and if we can get through to the semi-finals, anything can happen from there,” he said.
Meanwhile, the beefed-up Barbarians confirmed themselves as legitimate contenders, scoring three tries to two in their draw with Mariners.
West coach Gary Maroney said they were “disappointed not to get the win given our dominance in scrummaging and lineouts”.
“Had our goal kicking been on target, we would have won convincingly,” Gary said.
Gary said Loose-head Prop Moala Sofilisi Tonga was their Player of the Match, ahead of explosive Outside Centre Isky Pongi and Right Winger Maka Taliauli.
Barbarians will now do battle with Turtles this Saturday in a semi-final dress rehearsal with both looking to strike a psychological blow and go into the play-offs in winning form.
Reigning champions Bundaberg paid the price for being without six stars from their originally named side, including South Queensland Country (SQC) trio Arden Lankowski, Brendan Handley, and Nathan Van Eekeren, going down to South Burnett by 14 runs in the Wide Bay Goodchild Shield first round in Kingaroy on Sunday.
The hosts amassed 9-196 with paceman Dean Krebs outstanding for Bundaberg with 4-39, but the Rum City could manage only 182 in reply.
Locally, Queensland over-60s spinner Bruce Worthington claimed 6-40 from 18 overs to be the main destroyer as Norths bowled East Bundy Magpies out for a moderate total of 178 on day one of their Rum City Foods Division 1 Premiership two-day clash at Salter Oval on Saturday, before Nathan Van Eekeren smashed an unconquered 58 to spearhead last season’s beaten grand finalists to 1-87 at stumps.
But Norths will be without Nathan and Brendan Handley when the match concludes this Saturday as they will be playing for SQC against North Queensland in the Queensland Country Championships.
Meanwhile Waves left-arm paceman Mitch Waters also continued his sensational form, backing up his 6-22 against Norths in their previous match, claiming 5-44 from a marathon 25.2 overs against Brothers, who were bowled out for a competitive 226 in the last of their 85 overs.
Seventeen-year-old opener Dylan Heycox carried his bat for a fighting unbeaten 71 from 247 balls, while Nithin Shetty was the other main contributor for the Brethren with 54.
The match is evenly poised with Waves reaching 3-69 from 21 overs in reply.
Mitch Waters also shone with the bat with 33 as Takalvan’s Taipans toughed out a three-wicket victory over Betta Heat in their Aussie Bundy Big Bash blast on Friday night.
Big hitter Ben Davey scored a game-high 38 in Heat’s 7-115, and he also claimed 2-15, before rookie Patrick Marshman hit the winning three runs with one ball to spare.
After two straight wins over Terrors, Bargara Bullets were given a reality check, white-washed by two-times defending premiers Brothers United Firesticks 17-0 in their Coral Coast/Hervey Bay A Grade Ladies League shoot-out at Brothers Sports Complex on Saturday.
With three round to go before the Christmas-New Year recess, Firesticks moved to 15 points, equal with Waves Tsunamis, who have had one more bye than them and have lost two to United’s one, and who edged out Terrors 9-8 in Hervey Bay on Saturday.
In the A Grade Men’s division, Brothers United Heat finally broke through for their first win of the season, turning the tables on Maryborough West 7-4 after losing to them in their first two meetings this campaign.
They remain on the bottom of the ladder, but are now only three points behind third placed Terrors, who inflicted Waves Schooners’ first defeat of 2021-22, outgunning them 7-2 at home in Hervey Bay on Saturday.
Here are all the scores:
AUSSIE BUNDY BIG BASH
Takalvans Taipans 7/116 (Mitch Waters 33, Luke Solano 27, Jason Reepsdorff 2/15, Ben Davey 2/15) d Betta Heat 7/115(cc) (Ben Davey 38, Kyle Stallan 25, Dale Steele 3/21).
RUM CITY FOODS DIVISION 1 PREMIERSHIP
Norths 1/87 (Nathan Van Eekeren 58no) v East Bundy Magpies 178 (Lewis Williams 59, Keegan Lankowski 42, Jesse Richardson 25, Bruce Worthington 6/40, Nathan Van Eekeren 2/21).
The Waves 3/69 (Michael Loader 27no) v Brothers 226 (Dylan Heycox 71no, Nithin Shetty 54, Mitch Waters 5/44, Lachlan Modrow 2/35, Luke Owen 2/62).
DIVISION 2 PREMIERSHIP
Norths 8/169 (Damian O'Neall 29no, Dan Hunt 28, Richie Sharman 27, Dustin Collin 4/24, Jackson Rehbein 2/36) d Brothers 8/167(cc) (Ronan Dempsey 52, Dustin Collin 31, Richie Sharman 2/21, Logan Woodward 2/30).
The Waves 2/75 (Kyle Stallan 33no, Roderick Jensen 2/15) d East Bundy Magpies 73 (Mat Fleming 3/7, Brody Coates 3/23, Jack Munro 2/3).
DIVISION 3 PREMIERSHIP
Norths 6/103 (Jack Sullivan 4/12, Toby Lamond 2/24) d Brothers 100 (Jack Sullivan 36, Shaun Pinney 5/12, Paul Jenner 2/22, Ken Milliken 2/31).
The Waves 8/184(cc) (Brendan Prossliner 85no, Jason DePapi 38, Jackson Rehbein 4/43, Marty Ryan 2/30) d Isis 96 (Brody Coates 3/8, Jack Beveridge 3/13, Josh Wormington 2/16).
East Bundy Magpies 6/222(cc) (Roderick Jensen 59, Will Barritt 52, Jordan Petersen 32, Troy Cross 30, Joel Faint 2/60, Russell Baker 2/65) d YMCA 6/166 (Brett Woodward 56no, Joel Faint 42, Will Barritt 2/24).
JUNIOR CRICKET 3-16S
Maryborough 4/163 (C Farrell 45, L Nitschinsk 45) d Hervey Bay Colts 9/157(cc) (B Loveridge 35, M Geldard 30, T Geldard 25no, N Gillieatt-Jones 2/19).
The Waves 4/131(cc) (Sam Stuchbery 36, Taylor Stumer 29, Patrick Marshman 2/20) d Brothers Pumas 6/116(cc) (Beau Marshman 39, Tara Staines 2/24).
Isis 4/142(cc) (Jayden Santacaterina 37no, Aeddan White 26) d YMCA/Norths Marauders 10/126 (Logan Eade 27, Cooper Rehbein 4/14, Zayne Donovan 3/19).
JUNIOR CRICKET 3-14S
Waves 7/156(cc) (Tahj Coates 49, Alex Stuchbery 33no, W Sanders 2/7) d Maryborough 6/147(cc) (T Brewer 38no, H Murree 36no, Lara Hamilton 3/8).
North Bundy Power 5/159 (Ferdy Jenner 37no, Jack Tyers 31, C Barr 2/15, R Folker 2/47) d Hervey Bay Colts 7/136(cc) (Riley Pimm 2/13).
Isis Brothers Mustangs 5/171(cc) (Zach Harris 46no, Charlie Steele 26, James Cocking 25no, Lachlan McDonald 2/18) d Norths Choppers 9/124(cc) (Jack Bigg 29, Charlie Steele 3/11, Riley Collett 2/3).
JUNIOR CRICKET 2
Norths SEI Strikers 187 (Zayde Kitching 57no, Corin Driver 46, Rune Needer 29, Beau Donnison 25no, Jake Ferrara 2/23, Olivia Abell 2/28) d Norths Avengers 161 (Samson Juster 39, Lachlan Rogers 26, Connor Wright 3/8).
YMCA d The Waves on forfeit.
Brothers 3/132(cc) (Tyson Melein 20no, Cale Anderson 20, Zak Onoprienko 2/7) d Isis 64.
WIDE BAY GOODCHILD SHIELD
South Burnett 9/196(cc) (Ashley Sippel 48, Kurt McArthur 44, Dean Krebs 4/39, Chris Duff 2/38, Ben Davey 2/47) d Bundaberg 182 (Chris Duff 31, Chris Napper 26, Reg Wenham 2/15, Kieran Askin 2/23).
Gympie 3/85 d Fraser Coast 83.
RUGBY BUNDABERG ELDERS INSURANCE SPRING CUP
EAST BUNDABERG PYTHONS 29 (Trent Seeds 2, Willie Nagas, Bennett Ottineru, Delroy Tanner tries; Jackson Paulson, Delroy Tanner conversions) d TURTLES BROTHERS 15 (Brody Atwell, Tom Watson tries; Layton Chambers conversion & penalty).
WEST BARBARIANS 18 (Kefu Ikamanu, Tali Folau Sitani, Bruce Ikamanu tries; Mathew Collier penalty) drew FRASER COAST MARINERS 18 (Names of 2 try scorers withheld; Filipe Koroibola conversion & 2 penalties).
SOFTBALL CORAL COAST/HERVEY BAY
A GRADE LADIES
BROTHERS UNITED FIRESTICKS 17 d BARGARA BULLETS 0; WAVES TSUNAMIS 9 d TERRORS 8.
A GRADE MEN
BROTHERS UNITED HEAT 7 d MARYBOROUGH WEST 4; TERRORS 7 d WAVES SCHOONERS 2.
B GRADE LADIES
BARGARA BANDITS 10 d WESTERN SUBURBS PANTHERS 5; BARGARA LEOPARDS 16 d BROTHERS UNITED CROSSFIRE 4; BROTHERS UNITED INFERNO 14 d WESTERN SUBURBS COUGARS 8; MISFITS 14 d WAVES SEASHELLS 7; WAVES TIDAL WAVES 19 d TERRORS YELLOW 1.
B GRADE MEN
TERRORS 5 d WAVES CRUISERS 4; TERRORS 3 drew WAVES CUTTERS 3; BROTHERS UNITED FLAME 18 d WESTERN SUBURBS LYNX 3; BARGARA BULLS 1 drew WESTERN SUBURBS LYNX 1.
BROTHERS UNITED TNT 13 d WESTERN SUBURBS LIONS 4; TERRORS 16 d WAVES DRIFTERS 1.
BROTHERS UNITED BLAZE 15 d WESTERN SUBURBS TIGERS 0; TERRORS 8 d WAVES TORPEDOES 4; TERRORS 13 d WAVES RIPTIDES 8.
BARGARA BEARS 15 d WESTERN SUBURBS JAGUARS 5; TERRORS 8 drew WAVES MARINERS 8.
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