The sky could be the limit when the rampaging Waves Tigers get the chance to all but seal the Rugby League Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership minor title in their Round 14 showdown against the Wallaroos at Salter Oval at 4.30pm tomorrow.
After seven straight victories, the Tigers are four points clear of Hervey Bay Seagulls at the top of the table, and as they currently trail them on net points differential 130 to 136, a big win would be a good safety buffer for them ahead of the last two games of the home and away season against Past Brothers and Hervey Bay, respectively.
Waves only beat Roos 34-22 when they last met at Eskdale Park on June 4, but while they have gone from strength to strength since, the Maryborough club’s only joy since then was a 14-all draw with Easts Magpies a fortnight ago before suffering a heavy 44-14 home loss to Brothers last Saturday.
They will be playing for pride in their last three games of the season as they are six points behind fifth placed Easts with a massive negative points differential of 292 to the Magpies’ +8, and the Tigers could go for the kill.
Waves will welcome back powerhouse five-eighth Jacob O’Shea from injury for his first game since 5th June, pushing Brad Clarke, who has done a superb job in his absence, to the wing, while blockbusting front rower Tom Akers is unavailable, with his place taken by Nic Samra.
In the match that follows at 6.30pm, much is also at stake in the duel between two-times defending champions Brothers and last year’s beaten grand finalists Easts, while at Stafford Park, hosts and former leaders Hervey Bay will be hungry to return to their brilliant best against Wests Panthers at 5pm after managing just one draw from their past three starts, before a 48-10 mauling by the Tigers and a shock 20-18 defeat at the hands of the Magpies.
Brothers’ form had been very patchy, but they have started to put it together at the right time of the season with a 16-all draw with Seagulls in Hervey Bay, before a tough 28-26 dispatch of Wests prior to last week’s blitz of Roos.
But they need to win again to shore up a top three berth, as a loss could see them slip back into fourth position danger zone and with the job in front of them to book a place in the qualifying final and secure a double-chance in the play-offs.
Easts were put to the sword by the Brethren 50-32 at their last encounter on June 5 in the middle of a six-match drought, but while they prevailed by just two points in their return to the winners’ circle last weekend, that was without their captain/coach Matt Craven, and with the confidence gained from that victory, they need to only return to their best to beat any team in the competition.
They will also be bolstered by the return of mercurial half Tyrell Howard for his first game of the year, named on the interchange bench after overcoming a serious injury.
Easts did outclass Brothers 46-30 in their first clash of 2022 back on 23rd April, and an epic duel could be on the cards between the two traditional heavyweights.
Wests inflicted Hervey Bay’s first loss of the season at Stafford Park to the tune of 38-24 on 23rd April, but the Seagulls reversed the result 32-16 at Salter Oval on 5th June.
But the Panthers are also coming off two straight losses, to Brothers and Waves 30-22 respectively, and they too will be fired up for points.
In the Northern Districts Senior Men’s Premiership, Avondale Tigers, who have been battered from pillar to post since a victory over Gin Gin Hawks in the season opener back on 10th April, will be aiming to get back on track when they host reigning premiers South Kolan Sharks at Tegege at 2.45pm this Sunday.
In the early match at 1pm, competition leaders Miriam Vale Magpies take on the also in-form Hawks.
Avondale Tigerettes will also be striving for just their second victory of 2022 in the Women’s League Tag when they do battle with second placed Agnes Water Marlins at 12 noon.
United Park Eagles (UPE) will duel with their North Bundaberg neighbours Bingera in both the Football Queensland Premier League Wide Bay Men’s and Under-23 Men’s divisions on their UPE Family and Sponsors Day at Martens Oval this Sunday at 5pm and 3pm respectively.
UPE are on top of the U23 table, five points clear of second placed Bingera, while in the Men’s division, they are in third place, and victory over the Superstripes, who are fifth four points behind them but with a game in hand, would consolidate their place in the top four.
In other matches, tomorrow, Across The Waves (ATW) should be too strong at home for Doon Villa at 6pm, while the win-less SC Corinthians venture to Hervey Bay Sports Grounds for a meeting with second seeds KSS Jets, and Granville cross swords with Sunbury Blues in Maryborough.
Action will be fast and furious at the Bundaberg BMX Club’s showpiece annual Cane Toad Classic at their Airport Drive track this weekend.
There are 52 classes from Superclass Men and Women, to Under-5 Sprockets, and age groups up to 50 years-plus.
Bundaberg has three representatives in the field of 14 in the Superclass Men in Zac Hutton, Tyler Johnston, and Beau Pratt, but no competitors among the six Superclass Women’s riders.
The hosts have the biggest team of the 24 competing clubs – 23 from throughout Queensland plus the Launceston club – with 53 of the nominated 275 riders.
Tomorrow, registrations will be from 10.30am-1pm, gate starts from 11.30am-1.30pm, and racing starting at 2pm for three motos, before a break, then a further two motos into the night.
Track warm-up on Sunday will be from 8.30-9.20am, with racing to resume at 9.30am for one more moto, followed by semis, a break, sprocket presentations, and the finals.
After not playing last week due to an All Blacks I forfeit, Raiders/Rovers will be fresh and ready to rumble when they take on Waves Cities I in the Bundaberg Hockey Men’s division at Hinkler Park at 2pm tomorrow.
Arrows/Athletics will also be out to get back on track when they come up against All Blacks II at 3.20pm, and All Blacks I will square off against Cities II at 6pm.
In Division 1 Women, Arrows and Cities will clash sticks at 4.40pm, with Raiders/Rovers to duel with All Blacks at 7.20pm.
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