Brothers quietly gaining strength
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
GLADSTONE Brothers are quietly but confidently gathering strength ahead of what is shaping up to be a testing Gladstone and Central Queensland rugby league premiership season.
The Brethren have been one of the heavyweights of the Gladstone and CQ Extended League premierships in recent seasons without gathering much silverware to show for it.
And while other clubs have been forced to make big signings to ensure their survival, Brothers have also quietly gone about boosting their player roster with some high quality signings.
Returning to the ranks from Rockhampton Brothers is former club enforcer and Central Comets front-rower Grant Broadhurst who will add plenty of starch to the pack when not on Comets duty.
Also linking with the Brethren are West Australian representative forward Damien Hodge and former Brisbane Broncos and Parramatta Eels Colts back-rower Brent Loudon.
Brothers coach Matt Jones had his first look at his troops on Saturday in a 40-34 trial match victory against the Hervey Bay Seagulls.
Jones said the score was not as important as the fact he had 28 squad members to get in plenty of play in a match played over six 20-minute periods against two 17-strong Seagulls lineups (A grade and reserve grade).
'We led the whole game but having 28 players running on and off it was very disjointed,' Jones said.
'But there were plenty of good things in the game and we hope to make it an annual event.'
The Brethren will next line up at the annual Bundaberg Brothers carnival on February 25-26 where they will face tough opposition, including Sunshine Coast outfits the Noosa Pirates and Caloundra Sharks, in the hunt for $5000 prizemoney.
Jones said the club's top squad of 20 players would contest the event which guarantees each side at least three games played over 10-minute halves.