An epic duel is on the cards when West Barbarians chase back-to-back Rugby Bundaberg Bundy Hot Gas Spring Cup titles.
They suit up against East Bundaberg Pythons in the Grand Final at Waves Sports Complex tomorrow at 6.30pm.
Minor premiers Barbarians overpowered a brave but outclassed Waves Falcons 38-3 in the Semi-finals last Saturday with crafty Scrum-half Lepani Banuve bagging a double.
Meanwhile Pythons prevailed against Fraser Coast Mariners 12-5 in a fierce physical encounter.
There has been nothing between Barbarians and Pythons all season, each finishing with six wins and two losses.
Pythons have a slightly superior net points’ differential of 91 to 84, but were stripped of points which cost them top spot.
The score is also one apiece in their two clashes this campaign, with Barbarians triumphing 15-13 on 22nd October, but Pythons turning the tables 23-14 in the last round a fortnight ago.
Barbarians snatched a 27-25 victory from the jaws of defeat in last year’s decider, and they put it all together last week, while Pythons coach Zak Menhennett, has done a great job with a new-look side after they were wooden spooners in 2021.
Bundaberg trainer Darryl Gardiner will be back to business at the XXXX Christmas Party meeting at Thabeban Park tomorrow with six runners.
Darryl will saddle up three horses in the Benchmark 55 Handicap, former Victorian Oh So Rewarding, which has won four races at Kilmore, Wangaratta, Pakenham, and Mooney Valley.
And he could be a cut above his rivals, Balut, which won well at the last local meeting on Melbourne Cup Day and also shapes as a chance once again, and the moderately performed Rutto.
He also has two starters in the Maiden, track debutant Spirit of Zazou, which boasts third placings at Gatton and Caloundra, but failed at Thangool last start on 26th November, and Empire Club, and one in the Benchmark 60 Handicap Blonde’s Day Out, which is among the chances, but will need to improve against the likes of last-start Gympie winner Froze for Moranbah trainer Bevan Johnson.
But the highlight of the meeting will be the five-horse Open Handicap over 1212m, which features the clash of Bevan Johnson’s grand 11-year-old warrior Fab’s Cowboy, chasing his 50th victory at his 134th start, and Bundaberg owned and trained King Klaus, from the Gary Clem stables, which has won 11 of his 24 starts.
That includes his only start here back on 25 July 2022, and has since won twice in Brisbane, four times at Caloundra, and once each at Rockhampton, Toowoomba, and Gold Coast, but he has never won beyond 1110m.
Meanwhile, last-start Gympie victor Vizone should take a power of beating in the Ratings Band 0-50 Handicap.
After the wash-out of all Bundaberg Cricket last weekend, action resumes tomorrow, and in the Rum City Foods Division 1 Premiership, the high flying Waves will take on East Bundy at Salter Oval at 11am, with the Magpies hunting for just their third win of the season.
Meanwhile, reigning champions Norths, whose only win so far was against Brothers in round three back on 8 October, will be desperate to repeat the dose and rekindle their title defence when the two sides duel again.
Waves Tsunamis remain clear on top of the Coral Coast Softball A Grade Ladies’ ladder despite suffering their first loss of the season.
They went down in a shock 9-2 defeat at the hands of cellar dwellers Western Suburbs Panthers at Brothers Sports Complex on Saturday.
But they will be expected to bounce back when they travel to Hervey Bay to meet Terrors tomorrow.
Meanwhile, at Brothers, three-times defending champions Brothers United Firesticks will be aiming to get their title defence back on track when they take on Panthers at 2.20pm.
In A Grade Men, second placed Waves Schooners sailed away to a 19-4 demolition of Bargara Bombers on Saturday.
They will get the chance to move to the head of affairs when they do battle with Terrors in a top-of-the-table tussle at the Bay tomorrow.
Brothers United Heat will be up against Bargara Bombers at Brothers at 12.30 pm.
Here are all the scores from weekend from the weekend:
RUGBY BUNDABERG BUNDY HOT GAS SPRING CUP
EAST BUNDABERG PYTHONS 12 (Josateki Masibalavu try, One Try Scorer’s Name With-held; Sakiusa Dreunimolea conversion) d FRASER COAST MARINERS 5 (Ethan Ballard try).
WEST BARBARIANS 38 (Lepani Banuve 2, Kamini Lelenga, Suliasi Cakautabu, Wade Hinschen, Kevin Campbell tries; Isaiah Bullard 3 Conversions) d WAVES FALCONS 3 (Hyden Penalty Goal).
SOFTBALL CORAL COAST
A GRADE LADIES
WESTERN SUBURBS PANTHERS 9 d WAVES TSUNAMIS 2.
B GRADE LADIES
WAVES TIDAL WAVES 9 d BARGARA BANDITS 8; WAVES SEASHELLS 6 d WESTERN SUBURBS PUMAS 4.
A GRADE MEN
WAVES SCHOONERS 19 d BARGARA BOMBERS 4.
B GRADE MEN
BARGARA BULLS 8 d WESTERN SUBURBS LYNX 4; WAVES CRUISERS 13 d WESTERN SUBURBS LYNX 0.
WAVES WAVERIDERS 7 d WESTERN SUBURBS LIONS 2; WAVES DRIFTERS 9 d BARGARA BRONCS 8; WAVES WAVERIDERS 12 d WAVES DRIFTERS 4.
BARGARA BANDICOOTS 13 d WAVES RIPTIDES 10; WAVES TORPEDOES 9 d WESTERN SUBURBS TIGERS 6.
WAVES MARINERS 13 d WESTERN SUBURBS JAGUARS 4.
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