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Bundaberg Rugby League Round 8 preview

A smarting Wests Panthers will be out to put last week’s 34-6 drubbing by Past Brothers behind them when they take on Wallaroos in Round 8.

In the meeting at the halfway point of the Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership season at Salter Oval (pictured) at 3pm Saturday, Wallaroos are also licking their wounds after a 46-10 mauling by Waves Tigers.

The Panthers had defeated their 2023 grand final conquerors 30-24 at their previous meeting three weeks earlier, but coach Corey Tanner lamented that they “were just beaten by a better team on the day”.

Brothers led 12-0 at half-time, and while the Panthers pulled back a converted try early in the second stanza, the reigning champions answered and ran away with the match, racking up five more unanswered tries.

Joseph Doyle, the 17-year-old wing sensation, continued his try spree with another double after notching a hat-trick in their 56-0 whitewash of Wests in under 18s earlier in the day, while his quiet achieving elder brother Liam came off the bench to also grabbed two tries.

“Brothers’ youth and enthusiasm outclassed us, and they deserved the win. It was a good game with the score just blowing out at the end due to us having two players sent from the field,” Tanner said.

“We had a slip up in discipline, but we will address that, and you will see a much more improved team in that aspect.

“We haven’t been able to play full strength all year but when we do, I’m confident in what we will produce once that happens.”

Waves also gained revenge against 'Roos, who had edged them out 24-22 at home in their first showdown this year, and the Maryborough side’s pride is also hurt after being put to the sword by the title favourites, for whom centre Jensen Deamer continued his career best form with four tries and in-form halfback Brendan Grills crossed twice.

Tanner said tough-as-teak lock Jack Picaro, who turned 18 this week, and his son and halfback Marcus Tanner “have been two of our best over the past few weeks”, and he will be looking for them to continue their outstanding form, especially as they will have a few big guns missing.

“Josh (Tanner) is back at work this week and we have Nick Tanner and Clinton Horne suspended on contrary conduct charges, and Ryan Sharpe out due to being cited during the week,” he said.

“But we will welcome back props Dan Tanner and Caleb Navaao, lock Zander Kerr and outside back Israel Power, who all missed last week’s game.

“But I will be challenging fullback Connor Yeats and centre Chris Robinson to step up and take on more responsibility while we have a few players out - they are very capable and exciting footballers and we need to find them more, especially in attack.

“We will also draw on a few players from reserve grade this week as they won’t be playing due to a Wallaroos forfeit. It’s the grinding time of the season and if we keep working hard and get a few wins, we will set ourselves up for the back end of the season.”

It will be the first showdown between the two sides in 2024.

Earlier, at 1.15pm, Brothers will take on Easts Magpies, who went down to Hervey Bay Seagulls 46-34 last Saturday despite a 22-point haul from journeyman veteran five-eighth Zak Bainbridge with three tries and five conversions.

The Seagulls scored their first victory since the 2022 grand final, with captain and halfback David Woodbridge a match winner with 24 points from three tries and six goals in his first game for the club since that premiership triumph.

They will return home tomorrow to Stafford Park, but they face a massive task against the might of the Tigers at 4.45pm.


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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