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Bundaberg Rugby League Round 5 preview

There are three equal-leaders in the Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership following the last round of results a fortnight ago.

Waves Tigers, Wests Panthers, and Wallaroos now each have three wins from four matches.

The Tigers suffered their first loss of 2024, going down to their hosts Wallaroos 24-22 in Maryborough, while the Panthers prevailed against reigning champions Past Brothers 30-24 in the return clash of last year’s grand finalists.

Brothers are now in fourth place with two victories, while Easts Magpies opened their account with an uninspiring 26-14 dispatch of the win-less Hervey Bay Seagulls.

On Saturday, at Salter Oval, it will be a ferocious battle of the “Big Cats” at 4.15pm when the Panthers attempt to reverse a 22-16 defeat at the hands of the Tigers in the season-opener on April 13, before Brothers will be expected to return to the winners’ list against the Bay at 6pm after plucking the Seagulls 64-6 last time.

At Eskdale Park, Wallaroos host Easts at 4pm, hoping to repeat their first-round 38-22 triumph over the Magpies, and they always take a power of beating at home.

Wests got up against the Brethren on the boot of Chris Robinson, who kicked four conversions and a penalty, while the premiers landed just two in a match in which both sides notched five tries.

'Roos bagged five tries to Waves’ four, but they kicked only two conversions, while the Tigers’ Layton Chambers amassed 14 points from two tries and three conversions but missed a late conversion attempt which would have levelled the scores after coach Antonio Kaufusi said they finished with a wet sail, coming back from 24-6.

Victory against Brothers was sweet for the Panthers and their proud long-serving coach Corey Tanner said their best were his son and halfback Marcus Tanner, rugged 18-year-old hooker Jack Picaro and second rower Ryan Sharpe.

Picaro was outstanding for Brothers throughout his junior career and played a few A grade games for them last season, but headed West this season, “looking for a change”.

Sharpe has stepped up after being a star in their back-to-back reserve grade premierships in the past two seasons.

Tanner said they “have a few away this week with work commitments”, most notably high-class powerhouse forward Steve Bernstrom, Sharpe, and utility forward Mick Robinson.

“But we get back Ilaiasi Pongi and add new recruit Caleb Noovao, who is a good signing from Gladstone," Tanner said.

“And we have spoken as a group after the previous game against Waves and have fixed up a few little things that needed to be sorted out and I think the boys have reacted well at training and it has shown over the last few games we have played.

“Waves are the top team of the competition so we just need to do the little things right and when required hope our key play makers can produce.”

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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