THE first 20 minutes of the new rugby league season decided the match between Gladstone Brothers against Norths Chargers on Saturday night.

It was the first intercity Rockhampton Rugby League match to be played at Marley Brown this year after Gladstone joined the completion mid-week.

There was a large turnout of fans heading south to support the Chargers.

They were happy with what they saw in the first 20 minutes with their team running in the first three tries.

Brothers forward Joel Orton said it was a shock to the system.

"We were blown off the park early," he said.

"We backed it up at the end of the second half and turned it into an arm wrestle."

Brothers were able to score late in the first half to bring the margin back to 14 at half time.

They started the first half well with most of the play camped down in their forward half.

"Simple errors in the first half cost us a bit," Orton said.

"A few boys got ahead of themselves and tried to play ramp up the pace of the game.

"We were unable to capitalise but the score doesn't reflect how the game was played."

Brothers were unable to make the most of their opportunities and then Norths Chargers' Lloyd Stirgler swooped to score a try, pushing the margin out to 18.

Brothers scored a try late but it was too little too late with them going down 24-8.

Chargers coach Kane Hardy, who is known by everyone as Rooster, said he was happy with the first 20 minutes but his team went away from its game plan after that.

"It wasn't a pretty win but a win that had a lot of character," he said.

"We just kept turning up in defence when they were down in our end and I'm proud of that effort."

He said Brothers' big men will be hard to tame all season.

"They're going to be good this season with big Vince Mellars on the edge there," he said.



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