PAST Brothers moved to the top of the Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership table, albeit on nett points differential, after completing a hat-trick of wins with a 38-6 drubbing of Isis Devils in the third match of the triple-header when competition returned home to Salter Oval for the first time in 2015 on Saturday night.
The Brethren have swept all before them since their fighting loss to Hervey Bay Seagulls in the season opener, but while the Seagulls also posted their third win with a 54-6 demolition of Waves Tigers in the first match on the program, Past Brothers now boast a far superior nett for and against to them of 162 to 72.
The Devils retained third place on four points, with their points differential reduced to 22, while two-times defending champions Wests Panthers joined them on four points with a 40-24 victory over Easts Magpies, also moving into positive territory of a nett 12 after going into the game on negative 4, with both Isis and Wests having had their first bye and played three games.
Wallaroos and Easts, who each also have only played three times, remain on one victory apiece, with the Tigers yet to open their account from four outings.
Brothers hit the ground running against their Childers rivals, putting their stamp on the game by establishing a 28-6 half-time lead.
Even without their injured captain/coach Mat Templeman, they were ruthless, with high-class hooker Brent Kuskey, who has returned to the club after captain/coaching Wests to the premiership in 2013 before spending one season with Gin Gin in the Northern Districts League, scoring two tries in a five-star all-round performance.
Winger John Akers, who has also returned home after one season with the Magpies, also picked up a double.
Although they added only 12 points in the second stanza, Templeman lauded their robust defence to protect their line for the second 40 minutes despite the Devils, aided by a string of penalties, mounting many concerted attacks.
Others to feature in a galaxy of stars included five-eighth Tom Quill, who is also back after a season off, centre Daniel Finter, who has spent the past two seasons with Yeppoon Seagulls in the Rockhampton League, workaholic second rower Joel McCrea and Jake Carl, who was sensational at fullback.
The Devils will lick their wounds before what shapes as a crucial but tough encounter with Wallaroos at Eskdale Park, Maryborough, after the Easter break.
Waves had hoped to roll out their star new signing, controversial former NRL playmaker Anthony Watts, but he was forced to watch from the grandstand after the ex-North Queensland Cowboys failed to get a QRL clearance to be registered.
Despite that setback, Waves again tried hard but they were no match for the hungry Seagulls, who were still smarting after being outgunned by the Devils seven days earlier.
The Bay posted an unanswered 16 points by the break, before cutting loose with 38 points in a dazzling second half display.
Captain/coach Tye Ingebrigtsen wreaked havoc at five-eighth and finished with a double, along with perennial game breaking winger Billy Stefaniuk and equally lethal centre Terry Horne.
Meanwhile, although Wests are far from the powerhouse which claimed successive titles in 2013-14, they simply had too many guns for the Magpies, racking up seven tries to five and taking total control through their goal-kicking with six conversions to two.
Dual premiership centre Kane Chapman and 17-year-old second rower Tyson Whaleboat, who was signed from Brothers, grabbed two tries each, while captain and five-eighth Josh Tanner amassed 16 points with one try and six goals.
Hervey Bay Seagulls 54 (Billy Stefanuik 2, Tye Ingebrigtsen 2, Alex Braun 2, Terry Horne, David Leapai, Chris Ford, Angus Fitzgerald tries; Clinton Horne 6, James Lavelle goals) d Waves Tigers 6 (Sai Lalanabaravi try; Michael Harvey goal)
Wests Panthers 40 (Kane Chapman 2, Tyson Whaleboat 2, Willie Nagas, Robert Telfer, Josh Tanner tries; Josh Tanner 6 goals) d Easts Magpies 24 (Dylan Rogers 2, Cody Stibbards, Reece Maughan, Caleb Gazzard tries; Ben Schrader, Tyrone Ward goals).
Past Brothers 38 (John Akers 2, Brent Kuskey 2, Daniel Finter, Naupoto Taulanga, Joel McCrae tries; Jake Carl 5 goals) d Isis Devils 6 (Royce Blair try; Zac Dann goal).