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Hervey Bay Seagulls have rallied and will make a welcome return to the Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership after last week's forfeit when they take on Wests Panthers at Salter Oval at 4.15pm.

But they will again be unable to field a reserve grade team, so there have been some changes to the program earlier in the afternoon.

In A grade, they will face another tough task against a Panthers team which will be hungry to bounce back after four straight losses, which now have them in fifth on the ladder.

Wests have named their best team so far this season, although stalwart powerhouse forward Dan Tanner is again unavailable due to work commitments.

The 6pm duel between Easts Magpies and Waves Tigers will be a cracker, while unbeaten competition leaders Past Brothers head to Eskdale Park, Maryborough for a 5pm combat with Wallaroos, who are on a roll after a hat-trick of wins.

Second place on the ladder is up for grabs with the Tigers moving to No. 2 after their hard-fought victory over the Panthers, but they are just one point ahead of the Magpies who will be still smarting after being outgunned by Roos 42-30 in the Heritage City.

Waves will welcome back high-class fullback Cody Maughan while Easts will be without their best player in reigning BRL Player of the Year Andreas Nona.

Brothers will play just their second game in four weeks but they will be bolstered by the return of dual BRL Player of the Year Matt Craven and the club debut of fellow second rower Max Shorter, the Les Somerville Medal player of the grand final who was suspended for Hervey Bay in their victory over the Brethren last year.

However, they will be without four-time premiership front rower and former captain Kevin Sherriff and electrifying fullback Tyrell Priestley, who is still recovering from a bad cork.

Coach Andrew Hamilton said front rowers Tyla Hodge and Hayden Priestley will also be fitter following their first games of the season, and he is not concerned about having last Saturday off due to the Seagulls forfeit.

“We had a good training run instead and we had a few with injuries, so it helped us get most of the side back on the field,” Hamilton said.

“Matt Craven and Mitchell Taylor have missed a couple of games and it will be good to get them on the field for a few weeks in a row.”

Brothers thrashed Roos 62-8 at Salter Oval back in Round 2 on April 1, and Roos then slumped to their third straight loss in their next game, against Waves 36-22, but the proud Maryborough club has come together very well since.

They are going from strength to strength under captain-coach and former NRL star Maurice “Bobby” Blair, and they always take a power of beating at home.

“They have won three in a row and have got some numbers back, and we will go to Maryborough for definitely a difficult game, and it will be a good test to see where we are at – they have confidence up and will be looking to ambush us a bit, but hopefully we will be up for it,” Hamilton said.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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