Brothers looking strong
DEFENDING premiers Brothers showed they will be a force in the Gladstone Rugby League again this year with a 26-22 trial match triumph over Valleys on Saturday.
The Fish took to the water at Blain Park and raced to a 12-0 lead in the first of four 15-minute quarters, showing no cracks in the defensive wall that brought them a premiership last season.
Valleys rallied to take the lead after the first break as the wet and slippery conditions began to take effect on the match, forcing more errors from both teams.
In a back and forth middle section of the game the lead changed hands on several occasions, before Brothers' Jarrod Johnson settled matters with a four-pointer five minutes from full-time.
The trial game offered Mick Cartwright a first glimpse at his charges in action, and the newly appointed Brothers coach wasn't disappointed with the ability on display.
“We've got a bit to work with. There's a bit of talent there, so I think we can do something with it,” he said.
“I was really happy with our first 15 minutes. We dropped our enthusiasm in the middle section of the game but brought it back in the last quarter.”
Heading into the season proper, Cartwright is confident his team has the right mix of youth and experience to be very competitive this year.
“We've got a couple of fellas there that are fairly experienced and have played at a high level. Once they get adjusted to playing in the new competition with new players I think they'll only get better, so I'm pretty confident that we can do well.”
Valleys' encouraging performance was another promising sign for the competition. Their kicking game and ball movement caught the eye of all, including Cartwright.
“They showed they've got some potential there. If you drop off they make you pay.”
The local season starts on the first weekend in April.