AUSSIE RULES: BITS Saints have suffered a shock 36-point loss to an improving Rockhampton Panthers in Rocky on Saturday.
The win means that both teams are locked with a 5-3 win-loss record with the Saints in second, but only on percentage.
BITS were in the game and trailed by just 14 points at three-quarter-time.
However they were held scoreless in the final term as the Panthers ran away with a 3.5 to nothing quarter to win 11.14 (80) to 6.8 (44).
The visitors failed to have any multiple goal-kickers while Panthers had Victor Fitzgerald who booted three and Kale Oxenham and Josh Slater with two each.
BITS assistant coach Andrew McMahon paid full credit to the Panthers.
"Panthers are a good fast and young team,” he said.
"From last week to this week, we only had seven players who played in the game against Yeppoon and we lost a couple players early so we were down in rotations.”
One of those was centra half forward Jack Rubery who dislocated his shoulder early in the piece.
Others who did not play because of injuries were captain Steve Pugh, Ben Dempsey and Brendan Clarke.
"We had a lots of guys who were doubling up from the reserves,” McMahon said.
"It's been a tough year for most of the teams with numbers except for Yeppoon.
"But it's all about player management midway through the season.”
BITS are at home to Glenmore Bulls this Saturday and McMahon expects a few players to return.
"Ben Dempsey should be back and if we can have half a dozen back then that will help with players not having to double up,” McMahon said.
BITS are expected to welcome back Cairns pair Ezekiel Frank and Milton Miskin in the next two weeks and both impressed in the game against Yeppoon Swans nine days ago.