RUGBY LEAGUE: They're still seeking the perfect 80-minute performance, but Gladstone Brothers were able to achieve what the form guide expected of them by securing a solid victory over the struggling Fitzroy/Gracemere Sharks yesterday afternoon.
There was only pride to play for at Marley Brown Oval with finals football out of the equation for both sides.
It didn't take long for Brothers to open the scoring when the elusive Mitch Graving scored out wide.
Tries to Terry Sawyer, Pryce Trevor and Liam Johnson extended the lead out to 22-0 with only 17 minutes gone.
The Sharks earned a 20-minute respite from conceding more points before scoring a try of their own through Zac Tull in the 36th minute.
Brothers winger Jason Batchelor scored only seconds out from half-time to open a 26-6 lead at the break.
The Sharks found some bite after the interval when Corey Pitcairo barged his way through some soft defence to score next to the posts, although the quality of the contest began to deteriorate as time wore on, with errors creping in for both sides.
Any chance the Sharks had of mounting a comeback was culled with two quick tries to Batchelor and Col Hillhouse in the 55th and 58th minute, taking the score to 36-12.
For a side who haven't tasted victory all season the Sharks refused to go down without a fight and were rewarded for their persistence when Kadeem Mann scored their third try 10 minutes from the finish.
However, late tries to Johnson, his second, and Kale Robertson took the Fish past 40 points to secure a morale-boosting 48-18 win.
Brothers coach Danny Blair was pleased with the effort on display considering Brothers ran out of bench players at half-time.
"It was one of those games where it's always hard to motivate the players to bring out their best,” Blair said.
"Our completions in the first half aren't what I expected them to be and in the second half we came out to complete, but they came here wanting to win a little bit more and that's what put us back a little bit and took us time to get our momentum going.
"It was still another quality effort by the boys and we've now won six games this year which is two more than last year.”
Gladstone Brothers 48 (Liam Johnson 2, Jason Batchelor 2, Terry Sawyer, Mitch Graving, Pryce Trevor, Col Hillhouse, Kale Robertson tries; Pryce Trevor 4, Jason Batchelor 2 goals) defeated Fitzroy/Gracemere Sharks 18 (Zac Tull, Corey Pitcairo, Kadeem Mann tries; Morris Pickering 3 goals) at Marley Brown Oval. Half-time: 26-6 Brothers.