Wests Panthers will be hoping their four stars who will play for the Frank Fisher Invitational side against the Queensland Police at Murgon today, will be fit to back up for them in Round 6 of the Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership.
The side will face off against reigning champions Past Brothers at 3.30pm this Sunday at Salter Oval.
Bundaberg Bears representative foursome of stalwart Josh Tanner, Caleb Tull and young guns Jensen Deamer and Marcus Tanner are all part of the Frank Fisher team, and even if any of them are ruled out of the Panthers team for any reason, Wests’ depth is enormous, so they will be hoping to repeat their first-round ambush of the Brethren when they turned on a masterclass to win 46-22.
The Panthers have lost only one match - back on April 24 - when they were shocked by Hervey Bay Seagulls 34-24, but since then they surged to the top of the table with a 38-26 victory over Easts Magpies last Saturday.
Brothers subsequently also lost to Seagulls, before getting back on track with wins over Wallaroos and Magpies. However, they were brought crashing back to earth with a 46-18 defeat by the previously win-less Waves Tigers last Saturday.
They will welcome back a string of stars, but they will also have to be infinitely better than last week if they are to turn the tables on the Panthers.
Earlier in the day, Brothers will also play Wests in Reserve Grade and Hervey Bay in their under 18 game.
All other matches of the round are today, with Seagulls, who will still be without their suspended representative stars Logona Vetemotu and Jeremiah Pati, to host the Waves in A Grade at 5pm, with the Tigers to miss the brilliance of their former North Queensland Cowboys National Youth Cup star back Cody Maughan, who bagged a double against Brothers.
At Eskdale Park Maryborough, Wallaroos will host Wests in their under 18 match, and Easts in Reserve and A Grade, with in top grade at 5pm.
Roos are chasing a hat-trick of wins against a Magpies side which will be aiming to bounce back after two straight defeats.
Easts will be without imposing fullback Arden Lankowski, but in his place comes another perennial match winner in Tien Nguyen, while blockbusting front rower Hayden Priestley moves into the starting side after coming off the bench last week against the Panthers.
Main image: Jensen Deamer crosses for the first try for Wests Panthers in their first round win over Past Brothers back in March. Photo: Vince Habermann