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Bundaberg Rugby League Round 9 preview

Two points clear of reigning champions Past Brothers at the top of the Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership table with seven rounds to go, Waves Tigers can take a giant step towards the minor title if they are able to beat them again when they do battle at Salter Oval at 3pm Saturday.

The Tigers came from behind to defeat the Brethren 18-12 in heavy rain in their only clash so far this year on April 20, and they have continued to sweep all before them, apart from a two-point loss to Wallaroos on May 11.

They were in a different class to their hosts Hervey Bay Seagulls last Saturday, putting them to the sword 52-6 with hat-tricks of tries to winger Martin Powell in his first game since Round 1, and powerhouse second rower Lachlan Patterson.

Brothers plucked Easts 58-12 with three tries each to veteran centre Tien Nguyen and winger Corey Findlay, after they had also walloped the Magpies 66-6 in reserve grade with a three-try haul to halfback Bailey Knapp a day after his 19th birthday.

Waves coach Antonio Kaufusi said the Seagulls “put up a good fight at the start”.

“We had to ride the wave in the first 20 minutes – you could see the potential and they are a good side and are rebuilding - those trips are always hard - but it was pleasing for our 18s to win 8-2, and reggies to have a good win,” Kaufusi said.

“Lachlan Patterson was strong, Brad Clarke was really, really good at the back, and (halfback) Brendan Grills was unreal.”

Kaufusi said he rested hooker Sam Tobin last week after he required stitches to his chin for a nasty gash which he sustained against Wallaroos the previous week.

“It will be good to have him back but in saying that, Kynan Hard has been fantastic starting in his place,” he said.

“Zeke Munckton is out after failing a HIA against Hervey Bay in the first 15 minutes, and we have a lot of people out of our 18s with players heading up to Townsville for Confraternity, so I won’t use Noah Law and Daniel Cavanagh in A grade this week and they will play 18s.

“James Brosnan is back for the first time in four weeks after suffering a couple of head knocks – he’s a big part of our leadership group and he brings a lot of energy with his leg speed.

“Ross Larsen and Harry Kuorikoski also got really good minutes against Hervey Bay and I’m looking to them to step up even more this week.”

Kaufusi said Brothers are probably the team to beat if his Tigers are to end a six-year drought, and he is expecting another tough battle.

“They consistently go well and always tend to build really well - like masters of it -come the end of the year, hitting their straps, and they probably do it better than anyone else, but the same thing for us, we are building well as well, and it is Old Boys weekend for us, and we are looking forward to it,” he said.

Earlier at 1.15pm, Wests Panthers will be hungry to get back on track after going down to Wallaroos 34-24 last week to slip to fourth on the ladder, while 'Roos should again be too good for the Seagulls when they host them at 4pm at Eskdale Park.

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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