Tigers post key win over Devils
Centre Connor Jones, hooker Brendan Pimm and second rower Liam Saumalu each bagged doubles as Waves Tigers made it back-to-back wins in the Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership with a Round 2 46-18 demolition of Isis Devils at Eskdale Park, Maryborough, on Saturday night.
Then in the match of the night, Hervey Bay Seagulls bounced back from their first-up two-point defeat at the hands of premiers Past Brothers to outgun hosts Wallaroos 28-22.
On Sunday, Australian Police rep fullback Jake Carl amassed 22 points with two tries and seven goals as Past Brothers also made it two wins from as many matches in their title defence with a similar 46-14 win at the expense of Easts Magpies at home at Brothers Sports Club.
The sparkle is back in the eyes of the Tigers, who have been the whipping boys for much of the past eight years, after recruiting former NRL star Antonio Kaufusi as coach and signing a string of high-quality recruits.
Young captain and halfback Daniel McLennan, who has stuck by the club through the bad times, is relishing now having class all around him and while second rower Rueben Baillie and centre Tien Nguyen, a star in Brothers' premiership last year, missed out on any points in the route, they again caused constant havoc on the left side of the field.
Centre Connor Jones, another club junior product who has also endured the tough times, notched his second straight double alongside Pimm, who also played for the club from Under 13 through to Under 18 before returning to Brothers. He also had a stint with the Magpies before having two years off.
Five-eighth Zak Bainbridge, who also played for Waves juniors for a few years before transferring to Easts, has also quickly hit his straps after a two-year absence from the game, and he chipped in with seven conversions.
Despite being without captain/coach Tye Ingebrigtsen, the Bay overcame the fierce challenge of their Fraser Coast counterparts, finishing strongly to be deserved six tries to four winners, including one to prodigal son and former Seagulls junior Joel McCrea, who also won a title with Brothers before missing most of last season due to injury.
Roos co-captain and hooker Jack Horder racked up 14 points with two tries and three goals in a beaten side, and while they are now 0-2 and they will face another tough match against Brothers at Childers Showgrounds tomorrow afternoon, they boast a very good side and they remain very much a contender.
After their fighting loss to the Tigers a week earlier, the Magpies were again very competitive against an under-strength Brothers but their cross-town rivals proved simply too good with front rower and new captain Kevin Sherriff leading from the front with a double. Winger Dylan Taylor also crossed twice for Easts.
Waves 46 (Connor Jones 2, Brendan Pimm 2, Liam Saumalu 2, James Brosnan, George Vujanovic tries; Zak Bainbridge 7 goals) d Isis 18 (Zac Dann, Jack Rowan, Tim Cole, Peter Grant tries; Rowan goal)
Hervey Bay 28 (Billy Stefaniuk, Terry Horne, Elisaia Saumani, Willian Elemani, Joel McCrea, Sione Nau tries; Clinton Horne 2 goals) d Wallaroos 22 (Jack Horder 2, Joey Alberts, Chris Ahon tries; Horder 3 goals)
Past Brothers 46 (Jake Carl 2, Kevin Sherriff 2, Chris Rose, Matthew Martin, Andrew Filo, Taia Savage tries; Carl 7 goals) d Easts 14 (Dylan Taylor 2, Ross Larsen tries; Taylor goal)