High-quality centre Paul Shillingsworth finally really came to the fore, leading the charge with four tries as sleeping giants Wallaroos awoke from their slumber at home with a 42-18 demolition of title co-favourites Waves Tigers in their Bundaberg Broadcasters A-Grade Premiership encounter at Eskdale Park, Maryborough, on Saturday night.
Roos had been thumped by the Tigers by the same score in their only previous meeting this year in Bundaberg on April 24 but the boot was on the other foot this time as the pride of Maryborough notched back-to-back wins and just their fourth victory in 2016, also consolidating fifth position on the ladder.
At Salter Oval on Sunday, Easts Magpies recorded their third win this year and kept within two points of Wallaroos, accounting for the winless cellar--dwellers Isis Devils 24-16, before top-of-the-table Hervey Bay Seagulls had too many guns for Wests Panthers, running out 26-16 winners.
While they won it through their lethal backs, with winger Ethan West also joining in the party with a double, Roos laid the platform in the engine room with frontrow spearhead David Ball also rewarded with a try.
With eight rounds to go, Roos will get the chance to shore up a top-five finish and an accompanying finals berth when they do battle with the Magpies at Salter Oval on Saturday in the first curtain-raiser to the Intrust Super Cup showdown between Norths Devils and Central Capras.
Paulson effort earns praise
Tongan centre sensation Sekope Tua bagged another double for Waves but coach Antonio Kaufusi also lauded Jackson Paulson, who backed up after scoring a try and kicking nine goals in a 50-4 drubbing of Roos in Reserve Grade, to come off the bench in the first half to replace hooker Brendan Pimm when he was concussed, and he filled in admirably, including kicking their three goals.
Apart from missing a couple of their stars due to injury, Kaufusi said fatigue was a factor as he had three of his team backing up after they had been forced to play Reserve Grade early to make up a bare 13 players, but he also praised their courage in fighting back from a 22-4 halftime deficit to get to within four points, only to have three tries disallowed as Wallaroos got home with a parochial home crowd behind them.
Tigers versus Past Brothers
The Tigers, whose bubble was burst by the Seagulls six days earlier, will be desperate to avoid a hat-trick of losses when they match motors with Past Brothers in the main curtain-raiser to the Intrust cup feature.
They suffered their last loss when they were put to the sword by Past Brothers 44-10 in their last meeting on April 16, but they have since recruited an arsenal of big guns, including several former Brothers premiership winning aces, so there is certain to be plenty of motivation for both sides, with the premiers also low on confidence having won just two of their past five starts and being unimpressive in beating Isis two weeks ago before having the bye
Outright second place will also be on the line.
Paulson does it again
Paulson backed up again for the Tigers in under-18 on Sunday and completed a red-letter weekend by scoring another try and kicking five goals in a 30-18 triumph over Easts.
The Devils tried hard, but again it was so near but yet so far as the Magpies prevailed five tries to three, but Easts will need to rise to another level to match Wallaroos.
Isis will get another chance to open their account when they host Wests at Childers Showgrounds on Sunday.
Hervey Bay versus Wests
It was business as usual for Hervey Bay against a very competitive Wests with captain and halfback Clinton Horne shining in a galaxy of stars, including with two tries and three goals, while rising superstar Sudanese born 18-year-old winger Chol Chol also crossed twice in just his second game for the club after starting the season with Ipswich Jets in the Intrust Cup.
It was another perfect weekend for Hervey Bay with their under-18s disposing of Maryborough Brothers 34-0 with centre Will Waethal bagging a hat-trick on Saturday, and their Reserve Graders also downing Wests 36-14.
But Past Brothers shunted Roos from first to third on the under-18 ladder with winger Jamie Morey picking up a double to propel them to a 38-16 win over them on Sunday.
Women: Easts versus Isis
Easts' women also downed Isis 12-4 with polished halfback Nea Robinson a match winner with one try and two goals.
Wallaroos 42 (Paul Shillingsworth 4, Ethan West 2, David Ball, Roger Rainbow tries; Jack Horder 5 goals) def Waves Tigers 18 (Sekope Tua 2, Vahiti Hopoi tries; Jackson Paulson 3 goals).
Easts 24 (Alex Duffy, Damien Kaye, Justin Porter, Reece Maughan, Caleb Gazzard tries; Dylan Taylor 2 goals) def Isis 16 (Raymond Stahn, Royce Blair, Tim Cole tries; Tyrone Ward 2 goals).
Hervey Bay 26 (Chol Chol 2, Clinton Horne 2, Steven Dwyer tries; Clinton Horne 3 goals) def Wests 16 (Quentin Olive, Hayden Priestley, Isaisi Pongai tries; Bevan Page, James Prichard goals).