The loss of two of their biggest guns in 17-year stalwart Josh Tanner and dual BRL A Grade Player of Year Matt Craven has not undermined new Bundaberg Bears coach Mat Templeman’s confidence going into the 47th Battalion Senior Memorial Trophy Carnival in Gladstone this weekend.
The Bears won the Consolation Plate final against Wide Bay Rangers at last year’s carnival after bowing out of Trophy contention with a shock first-round 18-6 loss to South West Stockmen, who they will also play first-up tomorrow.
Mat said he still has a “very good side”, led by captain and lock Kevin Sherriff, who suffered a carnival ending fractured cheek bone in their first game last year.
“We are very mobile and quick, and I’m expecting a very physical game against the Stockmen, but we’ll put all our eggs in the basket, target a win and try and build from there,” Mat said.
The Rangers, who will take on Rockhampton Rustlers in their first game, contain just one Northern Districts player in Avondale’s Dylan Wagner, with Murgon dominating the side with eight representatives.
Toowoomba Clydesdale are the defending Trophy champions.
Bundaberg Bears: 1 Andreas Nona, 2 Layton Chambers, 3 Cody Maughan, 4 Trent Seeds, 5 Connor Jones, 6 Mitchell Taylor, 7 Logona Vetemotu, 8 Thomas Akers, 9 Zac Dann, 10 Ilaiasi Pongi, 11 Max Shorter, 12 Caleb Van Lawick, 13 Kevin Sherriff ©, 14 Tiko Hooper, 15 Reece Maughan, 16 TBA, 17 Bruce Ikamanu, 18 Royce Blair, 19 Jeremiah Pati. Coach: Mat Templeman.
Wide Bay Rangers: 1 Elwyn Fewquandie (Murgon), 2 James Christensen (Kingaroy), 3 Lachlan Madden (Gayndah), 4 Daniel Nancarrow (Gayndah), 5 Maurice Fisher (Murgon), 6 Barwoo Fisher (Murgon), 7 Mason Trappe (Kingaroy), 8 Michael Giles (Murgon), 9 Patrick Alberts (Cherbourg), 10 Asofono Lemalu (Wondai), 11 Jeff Vaughan (Murgon), 12 Karl Berlin (Murgon), 13 Kaia Williams (Nanango), 14 Dylan Wagner (Avondale), 15 Connor Sullivan (Kingaroy), 16 Buddy Stanley (Murgon), 17 Conan Holding (Murgon), 18 Samuel Oppermann (Gayndah), 19 Norman Wragge (Cherbourg). Coach: Ryan Sullivan.
Across The Waves Eagles should complete a second straight unbeaten AFL Wide Bay Takalvans Senior Women’s Premiership minor title with another big last-round home victory over winless wooden spooners Maryborough Bears at Frank Coulthard Oval tomorrow at 2pm.
But after their shock loss to Hervey Bay Bombers in last year’s grand final, they will want to return to the brilliant best, especially after not being nearly as dominant in the second half of the season.
Since thrashing the Bears 130-6 on 19th March, they have beaten Bombers, Gympie Cats, Brothers Bulldogs and Bay Power by just 25, 18, 12 and 6 points respectively, and last week, they had to dig deep against Bay after trailing at half and three-quarter time.
Meanwhile, the fifth placed Bulldogs will sign off on their season when they do battle at NE McLean Oval with four times defending champions Bombers, who will be still smarting from a loss to Gympie last week.
In the Marquis Macadamias Senior Men’s Premiership, the winless Eagles will be desperate to open their accounts when they host Brothers at Frank Coulthard Oval at 7.30pm tonight after suffering their first loss to the Bulldogs in almost three years by 30 points when they last met three weeks ago.
The Hervey Bay Derby between Bombers and Power will complete the round tomorrow afternoon.
Good luck to the Bundaberg teams which will contest the 2022 Netball Queensland Senior State Age Championships at Mudgeeraba this weekend under their respective coaches Sandy Baker (under-17), Sharyn Batt (under-16), and Bron Leighton, Matt Leighton and Ashlee Dickinson (under-15).
There will be no Bundaberg fixtures this weekend, with action to resume next Saturday.
There are also no Football Queensland Premier League Wide Bay Premier League matches this weekend, but there will be games in the WB North Division 2 Men and Division 1 Women’s Leagues at Martens Oval tonight.
Also tonight, Diggers will host WBN D2 Men’s games at John Cullen Park tonight, with their Gold team taking on Bargara at 6.30pm and Green lining up against SC Corinthians at 8.30pm.
To avoid the three-team competition in Division 1 Men’s, Bundaberg Hockey has combined the Division 1 and 2 grades to form one Men’s league for the rest of the season.
It is now a six-team format, with Waves Cities and All Blacks having two sides each, and Arrows/Athletics and Raiders/Rovers both having one involved.
Tomorrow at Hinkler Park, All Blacks 2 take on Arrows at 2pm, and All Blacks 1 and Cities 2 follow at 3.20pm, before Raiders/Rovers and Cities 1 square off at 6pm.
In Division 1 Women, Raiders and Cities will suit up at 4.40pm, with All Blacks and Arrows to draw the curtain on the program with their 7.20pm showdown.
Yandina Creek trainer Travis Elson continued his recent run of success in Bundaberg, taking out four events at this week’s ANZAC Day meeting, including the three heats of the feature Queensland-Bred 5th Grade.
He claimed the Heats with Barcia Bale-Lauryn’s Best litter siblings Travis’s Lauryn ($1.90), Boom One Down ($8.50) and Hope’s Golden ($1.18), and also got the money with their older half-sister All Aces ($3.10) in the Mixed 4th/5th Grade, but he had to settle for second with that bitch’s litter sister Summer’s Queen behind Easy Eddie ($8.50) for Takura trainer Ron Brook in the ANZAC Day Trophy.
Another of the winning siblings trio’s litter, Royal Tayla, also placed third behind Travis’s Lauryn.
Bucca owner/trainer John White took out the first two events on the program with litter sisters, favourite Apache Bear ($2.30) in the TAB Maiden, and Hotshot Bear ($4.60) in the Novice Non-Penalty.
Baronga Breeze, from the Torbanlea kennels of Ricky Hassall, made the most of her late inclusion in the field in the Bargara Bakery 5th Grade after originally being named as a Reserve, snapping a 13-race losing streak and scoring a big win after being sent out a $10 outsider.
Bundaberg’s Paul Burgess was also among the winners with hot favourite Why Harmony ($1.75), outgunning her Terry Signs 5th Grade rivals.
Other stories: Favourable forecast for third long weekend