How the Bombers became the top title threat
IT WAS after the third round of the competition that Hervey Bay Bombers coach Tony Potter felt the most pressure.
His side had just lost two games in five days by a combined 100 points. It was the way the Bombers surrendered to Brothers Bulldogs that left most supporters upset.
Those in the stands offered their two cents, but Potter stuck with his guns.
Since that day, the Bombers have won six of seven games and are genuine QFA Wide Bay Sunshine Coast contenders.
Potter points to the fourth-round clash with Maroochydore Roos as the side's turning point. The Bombers were under immense pressure heading into the fixture, but came away with a 44-point win.
"We're going in the right direction," Potter said.
Potter's plan, as how it has been since the start of the year, is to use the first game against each club as the measuring stick for the second half of the year.
The goal is to concede less goals (and by extension, less points) than the first clash, and, ideally, turn whichever losses appeared in the first round of fixtures into wins.
If that is the measuring tool, then the Bombers have succeeded at 75%. Across The Waves are the only team (of the four so far) to have beaten the Bombers in their second meeting.
Hervey Bay turned an embarrassing second-round 61-point loss to Bay Power into a crushing 77-point win in the eighth round.
They then became the only team to beat Brothers Bulldogs a week after. The five-point was not as big as the lesson Brothers dealt in round three (39 points), but the win was enough to show his side is on the right track.
Potter does not read much into Saturday's 101-point win over Gympie Cats, saying the visitors "just didn't come to play."
Instead, he shifts his focus to the tough run home.
The Bombers will enjoy a week off before the third Hervey Bay derby, then face two finals contenders in Maroochydore and ATW in its final three weeks.