IN A game which appeared to be the calm before the storm of the finals, the South Burnett Saints racked up a comfortable win to ready themselves for the final two fixtures.
Under the lights at Kingaroy's Lyle Vidler Oval on Saturday the Saints locked horns with the Lockyer Valley Demons.
The cellar dwelling Demons were relentlessly thrashed 20.17.137-7.7.49.
Saints coach Paul Pressnell warned the next two rounds against second place University Cougars and the Toowoomba Tigers would be tough.
"I'm just glad the boys could enjoy this one because the rest of the year will be pretty tough," he said.
After a fairly slow start to the game the Demons matched the Saints point for point to finish the first quarter 2.2.14 apiece.
From there on the Saints took control of the game in a high-scoring show of force.
In the second quarter the Saints piled on nine majors, followed by six in the third and another three in the fourth.
Pressnell said the Saints could not afford to make such a slow start in the next two rounds, especially as they neared the finals.
"From the first bounce they have to concentrate," he said.
Pressnell said play was hindered after the Demons team buckled under injury and their bench was all used up after a number of players had to be carted away by ambulance.
Once play had resumed the Saints showed off their authoritative play as they effortlessly moved the ball around the oval.
"Some of the passages played were exceptional, they were switching the ball, playing the better option," Pressnell said.
Demons coach Tony Bowers said the game against the Saints was one of their best of the year.
"Credit to the boys, the score doesn't tell the full battle," he said.
Yet to put any points on the ladder, Bowers believed if the Demons were able to field a similar team and keep them on the oval they should be able to get a win over the Chinchilla Suns at the weekend.
Demons manager Helene Shipston said one of her players had to be taken to hospital after his heart defibrillator went off a number of times on the field.
Shipston expressed concern for the rest of the season as some of the more serious injuries included a dislocated thumb and a suspected concussion.
Women's game called off early
THE Lockyer Valley Demons suffered a similar fate to the men's side after they were reduced to just eight by the time the game was called off at half-time.
With plenty of gaps left on the oval, the South Burnett Saints were able to gain control of the game and come away with their second win of the season.
Saints women's coach Adam Bowater said it was encouraging to see the South Burnett side score a 7.10.52-1.1.7 win against a team of an equal standard.
"They played their best footy in their two years of playing," he said.
"It's nice to see the results against a team similar to us."
The Saints are due to play the Demons again at the weekend.
Bowater said the next test would come the week after as the Saints went up against the Toowoomba Tigers.
"I think it will be a really good measure of how we've improved," he said.