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A BELOW strength Brothers fought back from an 18-4 deficit late in the first half to over-run Hervey Bay Seagulls 66-18 in their Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership round 15 showdown at Salter Oval on Sunday.

In doing so, they maintained a four-point lead over Western Suburbs Panthers, who claimed outright second at the expense of Isis Devils, whom they defeated 34-28 at the Devils home, the Childers Showgrounds on Saturday night.

The Devils slipped to equal-third with Easts Magpies, who picked up two points courtesy of the bye, while the Seagulls, who had won their previous four games, retained fifth position, but they had their lead over sixth seed Waves Tigers cut to four points after the Tigers virtually handed Wallaroos the wooden spoon by beating them 38-18 in the early game on Sundays program.

Brothers kicked the ball out over the dead-ball line to start their game and they were mostly poor for the first 30 minutes as the Seagulls threw down the gauntlet.

But with Queensland Rangers centre Shaun Collins getting them going with their first two tries with solo performances, they edged ahead 20-18 on the stroke of half-time, before piling on an unanswered 46 points in the second stanza despite losing lock Nathan Moore to concussion early in the match.

Collins finished with four tries, with flamboyant Tongans Peni Tuakalau and Sekope Tua bagging three and two respectively.

Meanwhile, the Panthers also rose to the challenge of upstaging the youthful Devils at The Furnace where their record is imposing.

Powerhouse centre Joel Turaga was Wests only multiple try scorer with two, while fullback Zac Dann and interchange player Brendan Lowcock grabbed two apiece for Isis, but the Panthers simply had too many guns on the day, scoring six tries to five.

Much will be at stake when Brothers and Wests do battle at Salter Oval this Sunday, with the Brethren able to lay claim to the minor premiership if they are successful, and the Panthers needing to win to keep their hopes alive of securing No. 1 position.

Roos could muster just 13 men for their duel with the Tigers but they battled bravely to lead 14-10 at oranges, before fatigue set in and Waves surged home for just their third win of 2013.

Well led by captain and halfback Robert McKeown and his brother, vice-captain and second rower Brendon, both of whom clinched one four-pointer, and hard working lock Chris Georgio, their many under-18 players also really aimed up, with one of them, exciting centre Daniel McLennan, cutting loose with a hat-trick of tries.

Seventeen-year-old five-eighth Jesse Domic, whose father Sid is the team coach and a former Brisbane Broncos, Penrith Panthers and English Superleague star, also shone.

Wests 34 (Joel Turaga 2, Hayden Smith, Quentin Olive, Joel Fagan, Boe Zimmerlie tries; Josh Tanner 5 goals) d Isis 28 (Zac Dann 2, Brendan Lowcock 2, Zac Suter tries; Robert ODonnell 3, Nathan Sullivan goals).

Waves Tigers 38 (Daniel McLennan 3, Nathan Jones, Jesse Domic, Robert McKeown, Cody Faulkner, Mitchell Penny tries; Brendon McKeown 3 goals) d Wallaroos 18 (David Ball 2, Damien Otto tries; Luke Beatty goal).

Brothers 66 (Shaun Collins 4, Peni Tuakalau 3, Sekope Tua 2, Lewis Williams, Ikuna Manuofetoa, Tom Quill, Quade McGrory tries; Nigel Bowen 5, Josh Anderson 3 goals) d Hervey Bay 18 (Billy Stefaniuk, Tyrone Hopgood, Anthony Lindeberg tries; Hopgood 3 goals).
Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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