Kevin Sherriff holds the shield aloft for the Past Brothers.
Kevin Sherriff holds the shield aloft for the Past Brothers.

Premiers get kind draw to start new season

LEAGUE: Past Brothers will have at least three weeks to prepare for last year’s top three teams after the draw was released for the Bundaberg Rugby League A-grade.

The NewsMail has received a copy before it is officially released with the competition having 15 rounds and each team playing each other three times during the regular season.

The season starts on March 28 with The Waves to play Hervey Bay at Salter Oval and Eastern Suburbs travelling south to take on the Wallaroos in Maryborough.

Past Brothers, the defending premiers, will renew hostilities with rivals Western Suburbs at Salter Oval.

The premiers will then face Hervey Bay in Hervey Bay in the second round before taking on Wallaroos in round three in Maryborough.

Past Brothers then face preliminary finalists Easts before facing The Waves in a ground final replay in round five.

The first five rounds of the draw are mirrored in rounds six to 10 and then rounds 11 to 15 but games will be held at different venues to suit the needs of the draw.

Hervey Bay will host seven home games with Wallaroos doing the same.

The other games will be held at Salter Oval.

“We wanted to make sure we gave the Fraser Coast sides enough home games,” BRL chairman Mike Ireland said.

“But we also need to use Salter Oval given the amount of money that is paid to use the venue during the year.

“We feel the draw caters to both.”

There are three weekends with no BRL action this year with Easter (April 11), the 47th Battalion (May 2) and the under-18 and under-20 carnival (June 27 and 28) having no football.

The full draw is below.

Bundaberg Rugby League A-grade draw

Round 1 – March 28

Western Suburbs v Past Brothers (SAL)

The Waves v Hervey Bay (SAL)

Eastern Suburbs v Wallaroos (ESK)

Round 2 – April 4

The Waves v Eastern Suburbs (SAL)

Hervey Bay v Past Brothers (HERV)

Western Suburbs v Wallaroos (SAL)

Round 3 – April 18

Hervey Bay v Eastern Suburbs (SAL)

Western Suburbs v The Waves (SAL)

Past Brothers v Wallaroos (ESK)

Round 4 – April 25

Eastern Suburbs v Past Brothers (SAL)

Wallaroos v The Waves (SAL)

Hervey Bay v Western Suburbs (HERV)

47th Battalion – May 2

Round 5 – May 9

Wallaroos v Hervey Bay (HERV)

Past Brothers v The Waves (SAL)

Eastern Suburbs v Western Suburbs (SAL)

Round 6 – May 16 and 17

Western Suburbs v Past Brothers (SAL)

The Waves v Hervey Bay (HERV)

Eastern Suburbs v Wallaroos (SAL)

Round 7 – May 23 and 24

The Waves v Eastern Suburbs (SAL)

Hervey Bay v Past Brothers (SAL)

Western Suburbs v Wallaroos (ESK)

Round 8 – May 30 and 31

Hervey Bay v Eastern Suburbs (HERV)

Western Suburbs v The Waves (SAL)

Past Brothers v Wallaroos (SAL)

Round 9 – June 6 and 7

Eastern Suburbs v Past Brothers (SAL)

Wallaroos v The Waves (ESK)

Hervey Bay v Western Suburbs (SAL)

Round 10 – June 13 and 14

Wallaroos v Hervey Bay (ESK)

Past Brothers v The Waves (SAL)

Eastern Suburbs v Western Suburbs (SAL)

Round 11 – June 20

Western Suburbs v Past Brothers (SAL)

The Waves v Hervey Bay (SAL)

Eastern Suburbs v Wallaroos (ESK)

Under-18 and under-20 carnival – June 27 and 28

Round 12 – July 4

The Waves v Eastern Suburbs (SAL)

Hervey Bay v Past Brothers (HERV)

Western Suburbs v Wallaroos (SAL)

Round 13 – July 11

Hervey Bay v Eastern Suburbs (SAL)

Western Suburbs v The Waves (SAL)

Past Brothers v Wallaroos (ESK)

Round 14 – July 18

Eastern Suburbs v Past Brothers (SAL)

Wallaroos v The Waves (SAL)

Hervey Bay v Western Suburbs (HERV)

Round 15 – July 25

Wallaroos v Hervey Bay (SAL)

Past Brothers v The Waves (SAL)

Eastern Suburbs v Western Suburbs (SAL)

Bundaberg Rugby League dinner will be on July 31.

Finals:

Semi-final first week – August 8

Semi-final second week – August 15

Preliminary final – August 22

Final – August 30

GUIDE:

Grounds: (SAL) – Salter Oval in Bundaberg, (ESK) – Eskdale Park in Maryborough, (HERV) – Stafford Park in Hervey Bay.

All times are to be confirmed by the Bundaberg Rugby League.

All dates can change at the discretion of the Bundaberg Rugby League and the BRL clubs.

The reserves draw is identical to the A-grade draw with teams to play each other at different times during the day.

The under-18 draw is the same except Past Brothers is replaced by a bye for the side that is expected to face them.

The Isis Devils, who are in under-18, replace Eastern Suburbs in the U18 draw.