Scrappy Seagulls back into the winner's circle
HERVEY Bay bounced back into the winner's circle after their first loss in more than a year.
The Seagulls scrapped their way to a 34-16 win over Isis Devils to maintain their pressure on ladder leaders Past Brothers.
The defending premiers missed several stars but captain Clinton Horne said his troops rallied in what he described as a scrappy contest.
"We had a few 18s back up and they went well for us," Horne said.
"Isis gave it to us and had us on the back foot. They're a good side and we just had to keep working.
"We played 50 minutes of good footy but we have to work on a lot at training."
The Seagulls were without suspended coach Jai Ingram, while fullback Logona Vetemotu was on duty for Central Crows' Queensland Rugby League A-grade State Carnival tilt.
Barnstorming centre Koli Oneone will not return for a few more weeks, though props Steve Dwyer and Elijah Alefaio could be back as soon as next week.
Horne said his side had to work on its completion rate ahead of Saturday's game against Maryborough Brothers, as well as focus on the side's gameplan.
"We just need to complete our sets and play off the back of that," he said. "If we complete a few sets and our defence muscles up we can put the pressure on them."
It was the first time Hervey Bay had to regroup after a loss since the first round of the 2016 season.
Past Brothers won that game 13-12 courtesy of a 77th minute field goal, but the Seagulls blew the competition apart.
Their strong start to the season, during which they score more than 37 points per game in the first four rounds, continued their much-hyped winning streak. Easts ended that 25-game run in round six.
"I think we needed that," Horne said of the loss.
"It's always disappointing when you lose but we had a talk in the sheds. We'd rather it happen then than in September."