THEY were the surprise packets of 2013, but for Biloela Panthers captain Peter Rogers it was no surprise at all.


Playing in their first Rockhampton Senior Rugby League A-grade season, the Panthers pushed rugby league heavyweights Rockhampton Brothers to the limit in the A-grade decider at Browne Park on Saturday evening.


They eventually went down 36-26, and some might have thought that was a fair achievement for the newcomers. But not Rogers.


"We knew we had a good side at the start of the season," Rogers said.


"We had a few boys back from Brissy and places like that that were locals from Bilo so we expected to be here and we expected to win it, (but) we just didn't quite finish it off."


Rogers was arguably Biloela's best on the day.


He had a hand in prop Rhys Giles opening try of the match, and his tireless work in defence in the middle of the ruck combined with his ball-playing ability troubled the Brothers defence.


His cross field kick early in the second half found Biloela centre Matthew Oates, who scored the first of his two tries to give the vocal Panthers supporters plenty to cheer about, and a glimmer of hope.


A Biloela local, now based in Bundaberg, Rogers said it was a difficult decision to make, but wouldn't be returning for the Panthers in 2014.


"I'd love to (play for Biloela next season) but the travel is a bit too much every week," he said.


"Trying to make training and play games, it's a six-hour round trip every time, so probably not."


Despite the loss, a disappointed Rogers praised his men.


"I'm very proud of the boys," he said. "This is probably the best side we've ever fielded in an A-grade competition and ... we probably won't have the chance again in the near future so I'm disappointed that we didn't finish it off."


After leading 16-12 at half-time, Yeppoon Seagulls went on to claim the reserve grade premiership 36-18.