Barnstorming front-rower Seth Laherty bagged a double as Wallaroos won their second match in the space of five days, outgunning Waves Tigers 28-12 in their Bundaberg Round 4 under 18 showdown at Salter Oval on Sunday.
After having defeated Hervey Bay Seagulls 30-18 in their rain-postponed game midweek, they tamed the Tigers for the second time this season and also joined Wests on top of the table, two wins clear of the other two teams after the Panthers prowled to an 18-8 victory over their hosts Seagulls on Saturday.
Waves led 12-6 at oranges but Roos bounded home with a commanding second half performance with Laherty, one of a handful of their team who doubled up to A Grade most weeks last year, wreaking havoc.
His stellar performance included putting the icing on the cake with his second try two minutes from the end, and mercurial five-eighth Tom Colvin was again among the points with 12 from one try and four conversions.
Coach Shaun Hobson, who formerly coached Bundaberg Brothers’ A Grade for one season before having three years with Gladstone Valleys and the last two seasons as the Gatton A Grade doyen, returned to Maryborough to be closer to his two young sons - six and four, who live in Bundaberg - said his side was getting better every week.
He named fullback Tyson Allen, another of their try scorers, as their man of the match.
“Centre Lachy Greenfield was also very good, and so was our spine – our two halves directed traffic well – Jorden Kemble and Tom Colvin," Hobson said.
"Tommy stepped up when we really needed him - and our captain and front rower Keian Grogan, who trained with the Capras this year but came back when [their season] was cancelled, is always strong.
“Waves probably had 60 per cent possession, but we just stayed in the fight and I’m really proud of the boys – we dug in when we had to – I’ve been trying to teach them that.”
Roos were soundly beaten by Wests 40-16 when they last met on August 2, and they will be hoping to turn the tables and claim the outright lead on the ladder when they host the Panthers at Eskdale Park this Saturday as the competition reaches the half-way point in the season.
Last weekend, the Panthers bounced back from their shock loss to the Tigers six days earlier, but they had to battle hard to account for the Seagulls, three tries to two.
In a robust team performance, coach Rick McMaster named interchange back Torey Kirby as their best; ahead of high-class hooker and co-captain Joel Baldwin, winger Ethan Evans, another interchange player Riley Johnson, winger Sam Woodman and fullback Marcus Tanner.
Centre and co-captain Jensen Deamer also made an impact in his return after missing the Waves match due to injury, bagging a four-pointer.
“Also, it was a great defensive effort from the smallest bloke on the field, Brennan Gynn [off the bench],” McMaster said.
In the younger age divisions, it was a red-letter day for Brothers, who have had a few lean years in juniors but have rebuilt in 2020.
All four of their competitive age teams were victorious; 30-22 against Wallaroos in under 16, 66-10 over Easts Magpies in under 15, 38-6 at Waves’ expense in under 14 and 32-6 also over Waves in under 13.
The Brethren led 22-6 at half-time in under 16 but Wallaroos regrouped and levelled the scores before the Bundaberg side found their second wind to clinch the result with two late tries.
Centre Kayne Mitchell and halfback Izac Pointon were among their best, while five-eighth Tumeli Naco also stamped his mark with many strong carries and big hits.
In under 15, electrifying halfback Ezekiel Monckton had a field day with 26 points from three tries and seven goals, while lethal lock Toby Kelly also chalked up a hat-trick.
His younger brother Levi was also in the thick of things with a double in under 13.
Centre Braiden Houliston notched four tries as the Seagulls plucked the Panthers 46-14 their under 13 encounter.
Round 4 results
Brothers 32 (Oliver Smith 2, Levi Monckton 2, Jomar Gustilo, Daniel Cairns, Toby Collins tries; Jomar Gustilo 2 goals) defeated Waves Tigers 6 (Jimmy Gear try, Brody Allan goal)
Hervey Bay Seagulls 46 (Braiden Houliston 4, Cooper Fitzgerald, Tatem Henke tries; Michael Parsgaard 7 goals) defeated Wests Panthers 14 (Dylan Vickery 2, Xavier Stanley tries; Darnell Saunders goal)
Brothers 38 (Malachi Solomon 3, Blake Powter 2, Dane Zardus, Jack Schmidt tries; Dawson Hess 4, Blake Powter goals) defeated Waves Tigers 6 (Emmanuel Iboro try, Sebastyn Brennan goal)
Wests Panthers 24 (Cayleb Johnson 4, Ryan Bugeja tries; Jayden Holden, Ryan Bugeja goals) defeated Hervey Bay Seagulls 14 (Harry Armstrong 2, Eden Wheeler tries, Jonty Brien goal)
Brothers 66 (Ezekiel Monckton 3, Toby Kelly 3, Ethan Brennan 2, Matthew Smith 2, Mitchell Sly, Patrick Curtis, Jordyn Farrell tries; Ezekiel Monckton 7 goals) defeated Easts Magpies 10 (Ricky Druce, Coen Searl tries; Junior Tuitoma goal)
Bundaberg Grizzlies 30 (Zac Zerafa 2, Zander Kerr, Harrison Brough, Jonah Chapman tries; Zander Kerr 4, Jesse Young goals) defeated Hervey Bay Seagulls 6
Brothers 30 (Mitchell Allen, Kayne Mitchell, Brad Shorter, Zack Powter, Ilamia Cattell, Aidan Noonan tries; Tumeli Naco 3 goals) defeated Wallaroos 22 (Bailey Mills 2, Kyle Knight 2 tries; Noah Dawson 3 goals)
Wests Panthers 18 (Connor Black, Marcus Tanner, Torey Kirby tries; Joel Baldwin 3 goals) defeated Hervey Bay Seagulls 8 (Gula-Bari Shillingsworth, Tallis Murray goals)
Wallaroos 28 (Seth Laherty 2, Tyson Allen, Tom Colvin, Kynan Watson tries; Tom Colvin 4 goals) defeated Waves Tigers 12 (Corey Picaro, Lyndon Kenny tries; Joel Cox 2 goals)