After their “escape from Alcatraz” last week, trailing Easts Magpies 24-0 at half-time, before getting home 28-24 with a converted try in the 77th minute, the equation for Past Brothers is simple – beat Wests Panthers in the last round on their home ground at Brothers Sports Club at 4pm tomorrow, and they will take out the Rugby League Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership minor title.
They are just one point ahead of Waves Tigers and Wests Panthers, and if the Brethren lose, the Tigers will almost certainly be crowned minor premiers for the second year in a row after they moved ahead of the Panthers on net points differential after whitewashing winless whipping boys Hervey Bay Seagulls 122-0 last Saturday, after Wests had notched their eighth win in a row with winger Gage Laird bagging a double in a methodical 34-26 victory over fifth placed Wallaroos.
Waves will be favoured to beat Wallaroos tomorrow in their 5pm showdown at Eskdale Park, even though the Maryborough Club always takes a power of beating on their home ground, and they have won four of their six games there this season, but they did suffer a 36-22 defeat there at the hands of the Tigers back on April 15.
They now have a points differential of 268 to Wests’ 240, but if they lose, the Panthers can take No. 1 if they are victorious.
In the other game, the result of which will have no bearing on finishing positions, the Magpies will travel to Stafford Park for a Battle of the Birds with Seagulls at 5pm, with last year’s champions Hervey Bay keen to take something out of their winless season from hell in which they have totaled just 80 points while leaking a mammoth 926.
Brothers coach Andrew Hamilton conceded that they were caught off guard last week when the Magpies ran in five first-half tries, including four to electrifying Fijian winger Netava Naruma.
“But we addressed it at half-time and controlled the ball and stayed a bit calmer in certain situations in the second – we knew if we controlled the football, we could score points – 24 points was a bit of an ask, and we would need luck to win, but we played attacking footy and defended well,” Andrew said.
“It was also good to score some long range tries – we stuck to our game plan in the second half and got be better and followed the game plan bit better.”
Brothers opened their account through flying Papua New Guinean winger Benaiah Kambanei in the 48th minute, but the turning point came on the second tackle from the ensuing restart with lion-hearted front rower Tyla Hodge breaking the line and racing 75m to score, eluding several chasers, and they got it back to eight points with another six-pointer in the 59th minute.
But the Magpies regrouped, and it was not until after they had front rower Jonetani Nasilasila sin binned in the 67th minute that Brothers were able to get home with a second try to Benaiah in the 73rd minute, and powerhouse second rower Max Shorter crashing over with 3.50 left on the clock, with Mat Craven landing sidelines conversions of both.
Apart from being a home game tomorrow, it will also be Brothers’ Indigenous round, and they will also acknowledge their many Indigenous players, past, present, and emerging, and they will wear special jerseys, with former player Luther Thompson providing the artwork for them.
Meanwhile, Brisbane Broncos contracted Under-18 winger Tom Morcom cut loose with four tries for the Tigers against the plucked Seagulls last week, while fullback Cody Maughan moved to the top of the Leading Try Scorers with a hat-trick, along with centre Jensen Deamer and interchange hooker Kynan Hard, and their other centre Lachlan Dullaway chalked up a massive 42 points with two tries and 17 conversions.
Tom was doubling up from their last placed U18 side’s 32-0 whitewash at the hands of the Seagulls, while Brothers moved to No. 1, overtaking South Burnett in their top of the table duel, outgunning them 32-6 with a double to Canterbury Bulldogs contracted fullback Blake Powter.
It was a good day all-around for Brothers after their Reserve Grade consolidated their grip on that minor premiership with a 16-12 triumph over the Magpies.
In the Northern Districts Men’s Premiership penultimate round last Sunday, hosts South Kolan Sharks, who have the bye tomorrow, wound up third on the ladder after being held to a 22-all draw by reigning champions Miriam Vale Magpies, who picked up their first competition point of the season.
Earlier, Avondale Tigers had sealed second place with a hard-fought 24-10 win over the valiant Gin Gin Hawks.
Gin Gin however downed the Devils 20-4 in the Women’s League Tag, with Ruby Tobin at her brilliant best, chalking up 12 points with two tries and two conversions to increase her lead over team-mate Jessica Galea to 20 in the race for the Top Points Scorer.
Second placed Agnes Water Marlins charged on, with S Moran amassing 22 points with three tries and five goals in a 34-0 blitz of Avondale.
All roads lead to Gin Gin tomorrow, with the Tigers’ Men taking on the red-hot minor premiers Isis Devils at 5pm, before hosts Hawks, who have fourth place secure, will be aiming for a good win over the Magpies at 6.30pm, before their Minor Semi-final duel with the Sharks on Sunday August 6.
Earlier in the Women’s League Tag, the Devils should be too hot for the Tigeress at 3pm, before it will be a top of the table blockbuster between Gin Gin and Agnes Water at 4pm, with the Hawkettes hungry to re-establish their dominance after suffering their first loss in over two years when they last met on June 24, with the Marlins getting home at Miriam Vale 14-10.
WOMEN’S LEAGUE TAG
Agnes Water 34 (S Moran 3, S Mojica, M Seymore, T Weldon tries; S Moran 5 goals) d Avondale 0
Gin Gin 20 (R Tobin 2, T Mason, A Curtis tries; R Tobin 2 goals) d Isis 4 (S Schifke try).
Avondale 24 (M Jones, M Chapman–Dyne, J Brown, B McKeown tries; B McKeown 4 goals) d Gin Gin 10 (J Rivett, B Laybutt tries; R Sutton goals).
South Kolan 22 (R Bowden, J Porter 2, P Lindsay tries; C Rohdmann 3 goals) drew Miriam Vale 22 (J Abbott, C Hopf 2, B Hornby tries; C Hopf 3 goals).
Fraser Flames have dominated places in the 21-man McDonald’s Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL) Wide Bay Men’s All Stars squad to play Brisbane Roar in what has become an annual pre-season match for the A League side at Fraser Coast Sports Precinct this Sunday at 1pm, but Across The Waves (ATW) is also represented with five.
Hayden Lobegeier, Cory Leggett, Bryce Hibberd, Brendan Davis, and Preston Cox were included from ATW, with three from United Park Eagles (UPE), Ryder Markey, Finlay Bath, and Joshua Adcock, and two from Bingera, Joel Haack and Gary O’Donnell.
Wide Bay squad: Chris Merrison (FF), Harry Schofield (KSSJ), Brad Mitchell (FF), Jackson Taylor (FF), Hayden Lobegeier, Ryder Markey, Shaun Mitchell (FF), Tae Scott (FF), Matthew Montier (FF), Cory Leggett, Luke Foster (KSSJ), Brandon Catarro (FF), Joel Haack, Bryce Hibberd, Koby Rye-Jensen (FF), Brendan Davis, Preston Cox, Finlay Bath, Joshua Adcock, Gary O’Donnell, Caelan Pittard (DV).
There are no FQPL Wide Bay Men’s fixtures this weekend.
Last week, Waves maintained top spot with five individual scorers in a 5-1 home victory over Doon Villa, while UPE shored up second place with an away victory by the same score-line against Sunbury Blues with “Captain Courageous” Josh Adcock notching another hat-trick of goals, to take his season tally to 23 and move within one of Golden Boot leader, Waves Young Gun Preston Cox (24).
SC Corinthians however remain winless after going down to KSS Jets 2-0 in their bottom of the table shot-out out.
In the FQPL WB Women’s League last weekend, Waves joined UPE in equal-third on 24 points, edging out Bingera 3-2, UPE were held to a 1-1 away draw by cellar dwellers Tinana, and Fraser Flames maintained their perfect winning record with a 7-0 whitewash of Doon Villa, and they backed it up with a 5-0 shut-out of Tinana on Tuesday night.
There is just one Women’s match this weekend with Tinana up against KSS Jets tonight.
Joel Latham and Sam Aitkenhead each posted doubles as Waves Cities got their Bundaberg Division 1 Men’s title defence back on track with a 4-2 dispatch of traditional arch-rivals All Blacks at Hinkler Park on Saturday.
But Raiders/Rovers stumbled at the hands of Arrows/Athletics 3-2 with veteran Paul Gardiner among Arrows’ goal getters for the second week in a row.
Cities’ Division 1 Women also disposed of All Blacks 1-0, while Premier League Champions Raiders/Rovers had to settle for a 3-all draw with Arrows.
All Blacks will meet Raiders/Rovers tomorrow with D1M at 3.20pm, and D1W at 4.40pm, and Cities up against Arrows, with the Men at 6pm, and Women at 7.20pm.
Arrows will also play for the Fly Cup against Maryborough Brothers in honour of the late Leon “Fly” Kersnovske, who championed both clubs, at Hinkler Park this Sunday, with the Men’s match at 12.30pm, and Women’s at 2pm.
Arrows Athletics 3 (Jessica Stehbens 1, Amity Hannay 2) defeated Raiders Rovers 2 (Will Baldry 1, Flynn Bock 1)
All Blacks 4 (Eamon D’Albret 2, Brayden Sinnamon 2) defeated Waves Cities 1 (Flynn Carville 1
Arrows Athletics 3 (Oliver Findlay 1, Hamish Cook 2) defeated Raiders Rovers 1 (Stella Dwyer 1)
Waves Cities 3 (Cooper Pashley 1, Cameron Callaghan 2) defeated All Blacks 1 (Lachlan McLaren 1)
Arrows Athletics 2 (Bridget Stehbens 1, Amelia Hammond 1) defeated Raiders Rovers 0
Waves Cities 2 (Connor Castelli 1, Thomas Rach 1) defeated All Blacks 1 (Kalen Wilke 1)
Div 2 Women
Arrows Athletics 1 (Hayley Kleidon 1) defeated Raiders Rovers 0
Waves Cities 1 (Gabrielle Aitkenhead 1) defeated All Blacks 0
Div 2 Men
Raiders Rovers 3 (Dean Wightman 1, Matthew Darr 1, Brett Powell 1) defeated All Blacks 1 (Bayley Fagg 1)
Div 1 Women
Arrows Athletics 3 (Ally Dunn 2, Malanie Stehbens 1) drew with Raiders Rovers 3 (Silvana Powell 1, Abby Heffernan 1, Susan Kendall 1)
Waves Cities 1 (Jaslyn Phillips 1) defeated All Blacks 0
Div 1 Men
Arrows Athletics 3 (Liam Taske 1, Jack Beveridge 1, Paul Gardiner 1) defeated Raiders Rovers 2 (Josh Crow 1, Damon Pegg 1)
Waves Cities 4 (Joel Latham 2, Sam Aitkenhead 2) defeated All Blacks 2 (Dale Veivers 2)
AFL Wide Bay Senior Men’s Premiership top two, the unbeaten Hervey Bay Bombers and Waves Eagles each had big wins over their hosts on Saturday, overpowering Brothers Bulldogs 15.5 (95) to 2.7 (19), and Bay Power 13.8 (86) to 6.10 (46) respectively, with dynamic all-rounder Nathan Van Eekeren leading the Eagles’ attack with a four-goal haul.
In the Takalvans Senior Women’s Premiership, the Eagles crashed to their first loss since the 2021 Grand Final, falling victims to a Power surge 4.4 (28) to 2.6 (18), and the Bulldogs’ rise hit a speed bump, shut out by the Bombers 3.9 (27) to 0.
All of tomorrow’s games are in Hervey Bay, with Bombers taking aim against Eagles, and Bulldogs out to defuse the Power, with Women’s matches at 2pm and the Eagles and Bulldogs both keen to bounce back, while in the Men’s games both at 3.30pm, it will be a top of the table clash, and Bulldogs needing to win to shore up third place.
Warren Family Homes Division 1 Premiership will feature an all-Waves affair at the Superpark at 6.30pm tomorrow, with three-times defending champions Gold to bib up against their emerging Blue side.
At 5pm, Natives Magpies will take flight against Brothers Hurricanes, and Alloway Blue do battle with Brothers Cyclones.
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