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Bundaberg A grade wrap: Waves fail to secure minor title

The battle for the Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership minor title will go down to the wire this Saturday, after Waves Tigers missed the chance to secure No. 1 spot when their nine-game winning streak was ended in Round 15.

Waves were shocked in a 40-18 drubbing by Past Brothers in the penultimate round at Salter Oval on Saturday.

The Tigers are now just two points clear of Hervey Bay Seagulls, who humiliated their hosts Wallaroos 94-0 in a sad day for the proud Maryborough club at Eskdale Park.

The Seagulls will host the Tigers at Stafford Park this Saturday, and a win would clinch the minor premiership as they now have a superior for-and-against points of 290 to 140 over Waves.

On Saturday, two times defending champions Brothers held onto third position - which ensures a double chance in the finals - when they turned up the heat to tame the Tigers in the second half after scores had been locked at 12-all at oranges. 

Brothers will however have to beat Wests at Salter Oval at 3pm this Saturday to retain third berth after the Panthers were beaten by Easts 26-22 in the late game on Saturday.

The Magpies chalked up a hat-trick of victories after having recovered a run of six matches without a win, and moving to within one point of the Brethren.

Easts are almost guaranteed the points when they line up against Wallaroos at Eskdale Park at 5pm this week, so the hot and cold Brothers must win against the Panthers to book a place in the qualifying final.

Brothers started well against Waves and established a 12-0 lead in even time, but the Tigers capitalised on a couple of mistakes by the premiers to level the scores on the half-hour.

However, barnstorming Brothers second rower Jake Thompson made an impassioned plea to his teammates during the break “to give me the ball”.

They answered his call and he delivered in spades, repeatedly shedding tackles and breaking the line to be heavily involved in each of their five tries in the second stanza in a man of the match performance.

Captain and front rower Kevin Sherriff and lock Zac Dann were also outstanding in a robust team performance, while five-eighth Pat Templeman also shone in just his third game for the club, scoring their first try with a touch of class, and finishing with 20 points from two ties and six conversions.

But Brothers’ challenge will be to repeat that performance week-in-week-out – something they have not yet been able to do this season but will have to in order to avoid a sudden death campaign in their quest for a hat-trick of titles.

Easts are also back on track, and while their explosive recently recruited Fijian centres Aisake Masiwala and Ratu Nawerecaqa featured with twin doubles, it was their captain/coach and BRL A Grade Player of the Year for the past two seasons, Matt Craven, who took out his first Railway Hotel Player of the Round award for the season.

Main image: Past Brothers’ Pat Templeman touches down for the first of his two tries in their big win over Waves Tigers at Salter Oval on Saturday. Photo: Vince Habermann/QRL

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