Brothers dominate Gulls in Bundaberg Rugby League action
RUGBY LEAGUE: The high-flying Hervey Bay Seagulls had their wings clipped by Past Brothers, losing 36-6 on Saturday afternoon.
The Hervey Bay team's recent good form came to a crashing halt with its first defeat in six weeks.
Seagulls were without Tiko Hooper who was on representative duty and Logona Vetemotu who withdrew before the match.
Coach Fai Sami was not using their unavailability as an excuse.
The frustrated coach was searching for answers to his team's poor performance.
"We were in it at half-time and Brothers were giving us opportunities," Sami said.
"The team just didn't show up to play in the second half."
Sami said that his team had found its rhythm over the past few weeks but that was not the case on Saturday.
"We made too many mistakes to win any match," he said.
He believes that the way the current competition is structured makes it hard for any team to get continuity in performances.
"I understand why, but it is hard to play a week or two weeks in a row and then have a week off," Sami said.
A proposed forum to be held by the Central Division about potential changes to the competition structure is welcome news to the Seagulls coach.
"Something needs to be done for all the clubs and the players, it can't continue as it is," Sami said.
"I also hope that they look at different models to increase home games for clubs while the future is discussed."
Sami's opinion is shared by many in the game who believer clubs need to have more home games.
"We need to be able to attract sponsors and get some income from home games," he said.
"At the moment we have four home games and it makes it hard to run a club."
Sami believes a stronger competition will attract players to the league.
"We need to provide opportunities for players to want to play league here in the Wide Bay," Sami said.
In the other A grade fixture, held at Salter Oval, the Western Suburbs Panthers proved too strong for Across the Waves Tigers, winning 34-16.
Alarm bells will be starting to ring for the Tigers with their fourth loss in their past four outings.
The 2018 premiers will need to bounce back to form if they want to challenge for the 2019 premiership.
Next week's matches could provide a good form guide to the final series.
The top two teams face off, with Past Brothers taking on the Eastern Suburbs Magpies while Across the Waves play Wallaroos.
Wests Panthers and the Hervey Bay Seagulls have the bye.
A grade women
Round 14 produced a shock result in the A grade women's competition with Waves Women upsetting the third-placed Wallabys team 44-4.
The result shows that any of the top five teams are a chance for the finals.
In the other match Past Brothers proved too strong for Tannum Sands winning 20-16.
Valleys/Roosters recorded their first win of the season after the Hervey Bay Seagulls forfeited.
Round Fifteen action next week will also serve as a dress-rehearsal for the final series with teams ranked two to five playing against each other.
Waves Women will play Tannum Sands in Gladstone at 3pm while Seagulls will play Wallabys in Bundaberg on field two.
Past Brothers host Valleys/Roosters in the final match of the round in Bundaberg at 3pm.
Past Brothers women have secured the minor premiership but positions two to five are yet to be decided, with two more weeks of play ahead.
Finishing in positions two or three allows teams a second chance if they lose in the first week of the finals.