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Bundaberg A grade Round 10 preview

After four losses in a row, Wests Panthers are now very much on a roll following a hat-trick of victories.

But they must win again in their Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership showdown with Easts Magpies at Salter Oval at 6pm Saturday to bolster their top three hopes and a double-chance in the finals.

Past Brothers moved to 15 points with their 30-18 triumph over Easts last week, while Waves Tigers climbed into second position on 12 points after defeating Hervey Bay Seagulls 38-8, the Magpies remained on 11 points, slipping one spot to third.

Wests are now just one point behind them after powering home 36-10 against Wallaroos, who stayed on six points, with the Seagulls yet to open their account.

Teenage second rower Zander Kerr notched a double for the Panthers last Saturday, but coach Corey Tanner said their best were his brother, captain and vintage veteran front row Dan, lethal lock Shaun Ezzy and electrifying fullback Chris Robinson, who amassed 12 points with one try and four conversions.

Easts prevailed 36-24 when the pair last met on May 6, but they were soundly beaten by the Brethren last week despite doubles to halfback and former Seagulls 2022 premiership star Ben Hudson, who continued his outstanding form, and prolific scoring centre Ratu Naweecaqa.

Tanner said they will be without his brother Dan due to work commitments in Central Queensland.

“Also, Nick Tanner and Connor Yeats sustained injuries last week that will keep them out this week, and Clinton Horne is 50/50, but we add Noah Law back into the starting line-up,” Tanner said.

“Yeh, we are back on track after three good wins, but we need to go on with it this week against Easts.

“We just need to play our style of footy and place a big focus on defence to slow down the Easts strike power out wide. If we defend well enough, we will have no excuses.”

Meanwhile, Brothers can take a giant step towards the minor premiership if they can down Waves at 4.15pm, while after three straight losses, Roos should return to the winners’ list when they host Hervey Bay at Eskdale Park at 5pm.

Their last encounter was an 84-6 savaging, although the Seagulls were pleasingly at least very competitive for the first time this season against the Tigers on the weekend.

Brothers got the points 34-12 against a much-depleted Waves last time that duo crossed swords, but the Tigers will be close to full strength tomorrow, and a pulsating end-to-end contest is expected.

An understrength Brothers still had too many guns for Easts last Saturday with centre Dennis Johnson and powerhouse second rower Luke Stilinovich each doubling up, while for Waves, high class fullback Cody Maughan bagged a three-try haul.

The Tigers are still without ultra-consistent centre Lachlan Dullaway, while regular interchange forward dynamo James Brosnan will again line up on the wing after playing the whole 80 minutes and fill in with aplomb, including grabbing a four-pointer, in an unfamiliar position for him against Seagulls.

Main image: Zander Kerr makes a signature run in his two-try performance for Wests Panthers against Wallaroos last Saturday


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