Changing of the guard or a minor slip up? Regardless of how you see it, the Yeppoon Seagulls certainly weren’t themselves on Saturday night, as they were put to the sword by Norths 42-18 in their Round 18 clash at Rockhampton’s Browne Park.

The Seagulls have undoubtedly been the benchmark side all season, but as the business end approaches and with the minor premiership already sewn up, they were surprisingly lacklustre in attack with a terrible completion rate – characteristics which have not been displayed all season.

Not to discredit the performance of the young, enthusiastic Norths outfit who played sensationally and were first to cash in thanks to the glut of possession they were granted.

Tries to Alan Rothery and Dale Stevens along with a length-of-the-field kick return from livewire fullback Marlon Doak saw the Chargers race to a 16-0 lead midway through the first half.

The Seagulls forwards managed to get back into the arm-wrestle and when halfback Blake Wallace got them on the board after diving over beside the posts from dummy half before bench utility Sam Holzheimer followed suit in identical fashion, the visitors only trailed by 4 at the break.

However that was as close as the Yeppoon side would get as the Chargers ran in a further five tries to one in the second half to record a galvanising win that is sure to put them in good stead ahead of the finals – beginning in three weeks.

Both Blake Wallace and lock-forward David Still were strong in a beaten side for the visitors, however the absence of direction from another class playmaker, along with the clubs crippling injury toll and number of players unavailable due to recent elevation to the CQ Capras Intrust Super Cup outfit might be starting to show.

In the other game to complete Round 18 Fitzroy/Gracemere’s season to forget continued, as they were slaughtered 100 – 12 by Brothers at Saleyards Park.

The Brethren ran in sixteen tries to two in a one-sided affair where hooker Grant Rogers amassed a personal tally of  46 points – scoring four tries and kicking fifteen goals - in the mammoth win that is sure to give last season’s premiers plenty of confidence ahead of what is shaping up to be a thrilling conclusion to season 2014.

Round 18: CQU Norths 44 def Yeppoon 18, Brothers 100 def Fitzroys 12.
Points: Yeppoon 24, Biloela 15, Brothers 15, CQU Norths 13, Fitzroy/Gracemere 5.