YEPPOON Seagulls delivered their most polished performance of the season in Biloela on Saturday night with a comprehensive 36-18 victory over the Panthers in Round 4 of the Rockhampton Senior Rugby League A-Grade competition.
The visitors claimed their first try when prop Joel Maramo crashed over under the posts thanks to an early turnover from the Panthers. But despite their lacklustre start Biloela hit back when some last tackle heroics and desperation to keep the ball alive lead to fullback Karl Stevens diving over to lock the game up at 6-all.
It was all one way traffic from there though and when prop Rhys Giles left the field for the home side with a knee injury the Seagulls’ perfect execution started to pay dividends. They chalked up 22 unanswered points on the back of an instrumental performance from halves pairing Blake Wallace and Jonathan Tavinor to lead 28-6 at the break.
“(I was) very happy with our completion rate and ability to control the game in the first half, it was one of the key things we emphasised during the week at training,” Tavinor said.
“The Panthers desperately needed to find some consistency and with their backs to the wall they looked to have found the answer when second-rower Casey Rogers scored next to the posts to reduce the margin to 16 points – but that was as close as they got.
Multiple turnovers and failed defensive efforts began to take their toll for the home side and frustrations threatened to boil over as a number of near scuffles prompted the officials to put Panthers second-rower Angus Taylor in the sin bin and only moments later send-off Casey Rogers for a dangerous tackle.
Complacent defence threatened to take the shine off a dominant display by the Seagulls, but they managed to hold tight - despite two late consolation tries to the Panthers - and march on to what promises to be a mouth watering encounter with defending premiers Brothers next round.
In the other game the CQU Norths Chargers held off a gallant Fitzroy/Gracemere 40-24 at Saleyards Park to take outright top spot on the ladder and condemn the young Sharks outfit to their fourth straight defeat.
Despite the game getting under way amid torrential rain, both sides played an expansive brand of football and weren’t afraid to throw the ball around. The Chargers raced to an 18-0 lead in the first half, only to let the home side back into the game and effectively square it up at 24-all early in the second half.
However some desperate defence managed to hold out a Sharks onslaught and a late double to cult hero Alan Rothery managed to seal the win for the Chargers.
Round 3 : Yeppoon 36 def Biloela 18, Norths 42 def Fitzroy/Gracemere 24, Brothers BYE.
Points: CQU Norths 6, Yeppoon 4, Biloela 4, Brothers 2, Fitzroy/Gracemere 0