Brothers bounce back with win over Wests
By Bridget McLean
The 2017 Pilecki-Shaw Cup will remain at Brothers for the fifth year in a row, following the Brethren’s 36-20 win over Wests in Round 2 of Queensland Premier Rugby.
Hosted at Crosby Park, the defending champions we hungry to return to the winner’s circle after going down to Easts 28-19 in Round 1.
Brothers put the visitors under pressure from the start with two quick tries through Criff Tupou and Mitch Felsman, giving the home side an early 12-nil lead.
Wests’ Misioka Timotoe dented a hole in the Brothers defensive line to narrow the margin to 12-5.
Brothers moving the ball quickly through the line for Elih Baillie to score with a successful conversation by Mitch Felsman. Brothers lead 19-5.
Elih Baillie was next to score for the Brethren, and a successful conversion from Felsman extended the home side’s lead to 19-5.
Brothers came out just as strong in the second half with some strong connections between workhorses Nathanuel Gendle, Dustin Henegan and Criff Tupou, who went over for his third try of the game push Brothers to a 33-8 point lead.
Wests, not holding back kept the pressure on for two quick tries from Cody Blackhurst and Liam Dillon bringing Brothers lead to 13. Brothers lead 33-20.
Wests weren’t down and out however, crossing for two late tries through forwards Cody Blackhurst and Liam Dillon, narrowing the scorline to 33-20.
Felsman had the final say of the game with a late penalty, taking the score to 36-20.
With a few strategic interchanges at the final stages of the game Bothers welcomed Colts Flanker, Fraser McReight as the latest debutant to take the field for the Premier Grade challenge.
The match saw recent Queensland U20s representative Fraser McReight earn his Premier Grade debut for Brothers. Captain Nathanuel Gendle praised the flanker.
“His red headgear was hard to miss having just finished school last year, it was a big effort to get on in Premier Grade and he didn’t look out of place,” he said.
Brothers head coach Carl Marshall saw positive changes from the team’s first round performance.
“We were pleased with some aspects of our play and improved on some things we wanted to work on from last week. But again there are some areas that we need to work on, and we have all season to work on them,” Marshall said
Gendle was overall happy with the game and improvement from last week.
“Next week we need a bit more ball security and continuity, we played a touch better than we did last week but there are always areas needing improvement. The best thing about being early in the season is we can work on those areas and get the young guys earning Premier Grade experience,” he said
Brothers will travel to the Gold Coast next weekend to take on Bond University in Round 3.
Brothers 36 (C Tupou 3 tries M Felsman E Baillie tries M Felsman pen 4 cons) d Wests 20 (C Blackhurst M Timotoe L Dillon tries B Hutchinson pen con)