Wests Panthers claimed outright third position on the Bundaberg Broadcasters A-Grade Premiership ladder at the expense of Waves Tigers with a 38-32 victory over them at Salter Oval on Sunday.
But the high-flying Hervey Bay Seagulls powered on at the top of the table with a 68-10 demolition of minnows Isis Devils earlier in the afternoon, and at Eskdale Park Maryborough on Saturday night hosts Wallaroos turned it on against Past Brothers but the reigning champions rose to the challenge and shored up second spot with a tough 34-24 win.
Wests have the bye this week, while Waves will get the perfect chance to get back on track after four straight losses when they travel to Childers Showgrounds to do battle with Isis.
The Seagulls will be back in action at Salter Oval this Sunday afternoon against Roos.
Brothers were without several stars, including ace fullback Jake Carl. For the Roos, highest quality centre Shaun Collins produced a master class against the club he spearheaded to two premierships a couple of seasons ago, but the premiers dug deep with hooker Brent Kuskey in just his second match of the season, the blockbusting Lachlan Tanzer and inspirational captain Kevin Sherriff leading the charge up front.
Quicksilver teenage centre Jayden Alberts also shone with a double, while rookie winger Sam Kuhnel was again also very good.
Back in action
Another of their premiership players from last season, Bryce Holdsworth, came out of retirement to help out in Reserve Grade and he played a major part in their 26-10 victory, before backing up to come off the bench in A-Grade, where he also chipped in and was rewarded with a try.
Past Brothers are six points behind Hervey Bay and just two in front of Wests, and they will be hungry for revenge against sixth-placed Easts at Salter Oval this Sunday after the Magpies shocked them with a six-point boilover when they last crossed swords on May 8.
Past Brothers 34 (Jayden Alberts 2, Brent Kuskey, Corey Chapman, Bryce Holdsworth, Kevin Sherriff tries; Andrew Filo 4, Alberts goals) def Wallaroos 24.