MINOR premiers and three-times defending title holders Brothers took their second chance, rebounding from their shock extra-time defeat at the hands of Wests Panthers in the major semi-final to outgun Easts Magpies 32-20 in the Bundaberg A Grade Premiership preliminary final at Salter Oval on Sunday.


But battered and bruised after two tough matches in as many weeks, the Brethren will need to lick their wounds and rise to another level if they are to stop the Panthers completing a rags to riches story and ending a seven-year drought after being last season's whipping boys.


Brothers put their stamp on the match by establishing a 32-20 half-time lead, then held on gamely despite the Magpies lifting their rating greatly in the second stanza.


With halfback Matt Hall, who has been an integral part of their side for the past 10 years, grabbing two tries in a signature robust all-round performance, unheralded winger Josh Anderson also made his mark with two tries.


The Easts team included eight former Brothers players, and three of them were among the tries, powerful winger Dane Richards, front row supremo and club president Anthony Evans, and interchange player Robert Hughes, but despite being the walking wounded by the end of the contest, the Blue and Whites simply had too many guns.


Despite the injuries which came out of the match, Brothers coach Dean Akers said it was the tough hit-out they needed to fine-tune them for their sixth straight A Grade decider.


Easts will however contest the Reserve grade, under-18 and women's grand finals after their Reserves edged out Maryborough Brothers 24-20 in their preliminary final with doubles to centre Justyn Porter and winger Kane Chapman, and their women disposed of Isis 38-26 with Queensland representative halfback Natalie Gala notching 18 points with two tries and five goals.


They will take on Hervey Bay Seagulls and defending champions Brothers respectively.


In under-18, minor premiers Fraser Coast bounced back from their major semi-final loss to the Magpies to book a rematch with them for the title with lock Nick Brown crossing twice in a 24-22 victory over Waves Tigers.


Brothers 32 (Josh Anderson 2, Matt Hall 2, Lewis Williams, Paulino Taufa tries; Nathan Moore 3, Mat Templeman goals) d Easts 20 (Dane Richards, Anthony Evans, Robert Hughes, Jackson Van Mierlo tries; Matt Tanner, Hughes goals)