Powerhouse forward Reece Maughan believes his side Waves Tigers have proved they can defend the silverware.
Maughan captained the reigning champions in the absence of the injured Dan McLennan in their last-round win over the team many had rated as Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership favourites Easts Magpies.
After having had the first-round bye, then suffering a first-up 36-30 loss to Wallaroos in their grand final rematch, Maughan said they “had a good hard look at (them)selves” and they responded in the best possible way in a 34-12 result over the Magpies.
“The score-line didn’t really show the physicality of that game, but we pride ourselves on defence and we were much better (than against Roos), we also completed our sets and showed good passing and good ball movement,” Maughan said.
“All our forwards stepped up – we had to take control – they got us to where we needed to be, and the backs did the rest – it was just a good team effort.”
Waves look like they made be an even better team than last year, despite their team against Easts having 11 changes to their grand final side from last September.
While it is early days yet, Maughan was “confident this group can go all the way again”.
“I don’t like comparing years, but we have got strike-power everywhere and we are just going to keep getting better and better,” he said.
The Tigers face another challenger, Past Brothers, when competition resumes after the Easter recess at Salter Oval tomorrow night, when one of their star recruits, Layton Chambers will come up against his former club for the first time.
Brothers have won their two games so far, a tough slog in the wet against Wests, then a last-start 128-0 white-wash of Maryborough Brothers.
While they too have assembled a good side, coach Steve Plath knows it will be infinitely tougher against the might of Waves and said the game would give them a true indication of exactly where they are at currently.
On Saturday (April 27), Easts will be looking to bounce back strongly when they had to Eskdale Park to take on the beleaguered Maryborough Brothers, who have vowed to tough it out after there were fears that they may have had withdrawn from the competition after not scoring a point in their first three games and conceding a mammoth 232.
The first A Grade match at Salter Oval should be a great clash between Wests, who lost to Brothers before defeating Maryborough Brothers, then having the bye, and Hervey Bay, who started with a big win over the Maryborough Brethren, but have since suffered heavy defeats at the hands of Easts and Wallaroos.