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Bundaberg Round 8 wrap: Tigers make waves in ladder race

Round 8 of the Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership was another nightmare for two-time defending champions Past Brothers, who suffered a shock 36-30 loss to 2021 wooden spooners Wallaroos.

It was another action-packed round in the A grade competition,  Hervey Bay Seagulls’ home clash with Easts Magpies on Saturday abandoned due to waterlogged fields.

The remaining two matches on Sunday went ahead, with the Maryborough Wallroos breathing life into their campaign after having been battered from pillar to post in their first four games this season, notching up just 48 points while conceding a massive 200 and being forced to forfeit their other match due to a Covid outbreak within the club.

Roos remain in last place with just three points with eight rounds to go, but they are now only three behind Brothers.

Hervey Bay picked up one draw point to move to 10 and retain their position on top of the ladder, but they are now just one point in advance of the emerging Waves Tigers, who defeated Wests for the second time this season, with a well executed 28-16 victory on Sunday.

Wests were joined on seven points by Easts, with the Magpies also awarded one draw point, and they moved ahead of the Panthers on points differential.The Tigers had six individual try scorers, including two of the trio they recruited from the Panthers this season - centre Jensen Deamer and halfback Brendan Grills in his return from injury - while their other former Panthers gun, powerhouse second rower Lachlan Patterson also had a whale of a game.

The trio had all featured in the Panthers’ 40-22 victory in the same match last year, which was to be club junior product Grills’ fourth last game for the club before being surprisingly dropped.

The pocket dynamo took great delight in scoring in the second half against the club he joined at the age of six and formerly loved, lived, and breathed, and was a major part of premierships in every junior age division, and also in under-18s in 2020.

Disenchanted by his axing, he was signed by his former Shalom College mentor, Waves coach Antonio Kaufusi for this season.

After a slow start to the season, the Tigers are going from strength to strength and are currently the form side after having also shocked Easts 22-4 in the mud last Sunday.

The Tigers put their stamp on the match, establishing a 20-10 halftime lead, and they withstood just about everything the Panthers threw at them in the second stanza, securing the points with two more unconverted tries.

In a robust team performance, uncompromising front rower Tom Akers was a deserved recipient of the Railway Hotel Player of the Round.

Wallaroos meanwhile forged a 24-12 halftime advantage and went right on with the job, in the end withstanding a Brothers’ fightback.

Electrifying former Rockhampton Rustlers Junior representative and Rockhampton Brothers product, fullback Jackson Gouge, was a match winner with 20 points from two tries and a perfect six conversions, while crafty hooker Bailey Eckert gave them the perfect start with the first try of the match.

He also completed a double, but they had many heroes as they celebrated their first win since July 17 last year.

WALLAROOS 36 (Jackson Gouge 2, Bailey Eckert 2, David Ball, Jonah McDonald tries; Jackson Gouge 6 goals) d PAST BROTHERS 30 (Kevin Sherriff 2, Jake Thompson 2, Tom Kronk tries; Zak Bainbridge 5 goals).

WAVES TIGERS 28 (Delai Moto, Mitchell Trims, Jensen Deamer, James Brosnan, Cody Maughan, Brendan Grills tries; Layton Chambers 2 goals) d WESTS PANTHERS 16 (Shaun Ezzy, Paea He Lotu Taulanga, Chris Robinson tries; Chris Robinson 2 goals).

Main image: Waves Tigers second rower Lachlan Patterson charges ahead in their clash with Wests Panthers yesterday. Photo: Vince Habermann/QRL

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