Powehouse captain/coach Tye Ingebrigtsen chalked up another hat-trick of tries to spearhead Hervey Bay Seagulls to a 64-6 demolition of Waves Tigers in their A Grade Premiership Round 14 showdown at Salter Oval last Sunday.
Ingebrigtsen also took the lead in the BRL top try-scorers list in 2015.
With the win the Seagulls retained second spot on the ladder behind Past Brothers, who upstaged their hosts Isis Devils 40-10 at “The Furnace” at Childers Showgrounds on Saturday night.
At Salter Oval on Sunday, two-times defending champions Wests Panthers outgunned Easts Magpies 40-26 at Salter Oval to regain third position in the standings.
Wests are now equal with the Devils on points but clearly ahead of them on overall points differential.
Ingebrigtsen took his season tally of four-pointers to 15, with his team-mate and wing flyer Billy Stefaniuk moving into second place on 13, also with a three-try haul against the Tigers.
Waves won their first A Grade game for two years two starts earlier, before going down narrowly to Wallaroos.
However, the three Under 18 sensations who had played starring roles in those two matches, Jacob O’Shea, Coby Gibbs and Rhys Lu, did not play this time, and try as they may, it was a return to the toothless Tigers of old as the Seagulls established a 26-0 halftime lead and went right on with the job.
Finishing with 13 tries to a solitary one, scored by ultra-promising Waves halfback Dan McLennan, the Seagulls could have won by a far greater margin had they been able to convert more than six times.
Hervey Bay will have the bye this weekend, when the Tigers will face the might of the Brethren.
Isis went into their match against Brothers without by far their best player, Central Crows representative wrecking ball lock Jake Thompson, and they were never in the contest despite their Bundaberg rivals’ alarming mistake rate, who completed just 21 of their 41 sets and were repeatedly penalised, especially in the first half.
Brothers drew first blood with a length of the field try to star fullback Jake Carl in the sixth minute, but while they continued to turn over the ball, Isis were worse offenders and the Blue and Whites did enough to be ahead 16-4 at oranges.
Past Brothers stretched their lead to 28-4 in the 53rd minute, before temporarily allowing Isis back into it when they scored five minutes later.
But Brothers responded with two more tries in quick succession, including a second to Prodigal Son interchange ace Brendon McKeown, who had kicked five goals in Reserve grade earlier in the afternoon.
Although he did not figure in the points, captain and hooker Brent Kuskey was absolutely outstanding.
He topped the tackle count with 41 bone-crunchers and also kicked a booming 40/20, which resulted in their last try.
Meanwhile, needing to win to resurrect their finals hopes, perennial finalists Easts served it up to Wests. But with hooker and captain Josh Tanner pulling the strings, the Panthers simply had too many guns,
including rampaging interchange utility and 2013 grand final hero Joel Turaga, who notched a double in his first game of the season.
Fellow big man and club president Corey Tanner also steam-rolled his way over for his regular try after being injected into the fray.
Even with seven rounds to go, Wests can claim outright third place and the inside running to a qualifying final spot if they are able to account for Isis at Salter Oval this Sunday.
Past Brothers’ win capped a red-letter day for the club, also extinguishing the Devils’ fire in Reserve grade with a 52-10 run-away with winger Lewin Theuerkauf-Smith and second rower Heath Tisdell, a Childers resident and Isis Crushers Rugby Union player, leading the charge with twin hat-tricks.
Their women’s team got their quest for a fifth straight title back on track at Salter Oval on Sunday, with livewire halfback Christi Chapman snaring three tries to spearhead them to a 30-14 victory at the expense of Easts.
But Calliope claimed the outright lead in that division in Gladstone on Sunday with fullback Prue Maeyke bagging a double to lift them to a 16-4 dispatch of Wallabies, who had gone into the round as joint-leaders.
Brothers 40 (Brendon McKeown 2, Jake Carl, Chris Rose, John Akers, Michael Murphy, Bryce Holdsworth tries; Carl 6 goals) def Isis 10 (Royce Blair, Peter Sipple tries; Rob O’Donnell goal).
Hervey Bay 64 (Tye Ingebrigtsen 3, Billy Stefaniuk 3, Alex Braun, Brock Eldridge, Ron Fisher, Steven Brudzinski, Clancy Fallon, Brad Jung, Amos Peliti tries; Eldridge 2, Clinton Horne 2, Joel Denduck, Jung goals) def Waves 6 (Dan McLennan try; Jackson Paulson goal).
Wests 40 (Joel Turaga 2, Robert Telfer, James Prichard, Josh Tanner, Tyson Whaleboat, Corey Tanner tries; Josh Tanner 6, Leon Baldry goals) def Easts 26 (Christian Senn, Nicholas Tanner, Robert Wondrock, Blake Laybutt tries; Baidon Cooper 3 goals).