Seagulls stop resurgent Isis at Stafford Park
THE return of veteran Joel McCrea helped spur Hervey Bay Seagulls to their third win of the season.
Hervey Bay dominated the first half of their Bundaberg Rugby League clash with Isis Devils, and led 18-0 until the visitors scored moments before half time.
It would not all go the home side's way as the Childers club fought back, but the Seagulls held out.
Seagulls coach Jai Ingram praised his side, and said McCrea's return made a big difference in the middle of the park.
"We came out with a win, that's three for the year now and I'm happy for the boys digging in deep in there, especially with the return of Joel McCrea," Ingram said.
"He's a big addition for us, and he's still finding his feet being the first game since last year.
"Having him back was unreal, but at the end of the day it's three-nil and we have to keep on working."
Isis fought until the end, but the early loss of five-eighth Taylar Barritt changed he game.
Central Capras signing Jayden Alberts switched to the halves from his native role as centre, a move Devils captain Jake Thompson said turned the game in their favour.
"Losing Taylor Barritt was a big loss, we lost all of our shape," Thompson said.
"Jayden Alberts stepped up into that halves role and took control of the game and that's when we started putting points on."
Thompson said his side deserved to proud of its efforts at a venue the Seagulls are known to devour their opposition.
"I think we'll hold our heads high after that, we're just not completing sets," Thompson said.
"Coming down here for 28-20 is pretty good, they put 40 on most teams down here."
Ingram said his side would work on fitness during this week's competition bye.
Perhaps Ingram's proudest moment in his short career as coach is seeing the extensive work Hervey Bay has done on the training paddock pay dividends on the field.
"We pulled off what we've been working on at training and it's been working," he said.
"A few of the plays there we scored from stuff we've been working on at training, drills we've been pumping and pumping and pumping and three or four tries came from that.
"All I can do as a coach is ask the boys to execute what we work on at training."
The Seagulls will face unbeaten Past Brothers on May 6 at Salter Oval.
Isis will host The Waves Tigers at Childers Showground on May 7.