GALLERY: Brothers get it done to win the under-17 decider
RUGBY LEAGUE: Gladstone Brothers' brilliant first half helped set up a 28-12 grand final win against Tannum Seagulls.
The under-17 decider headed for a blow-out as Brothers powered to a 24-4 lead at half time before Seagulls mounted a challenge.
But the deficit proved too much as Brothers held on with limited numbers on the field.
Coach Steven Silvester felt his team was in control for a large part of the game. "The boys had a really good first half and dominated so it set up the win easily for the second half," he said. "All we had to do was to hold out to the end."
Cameron Fitzsimmons won the player-of-the-match award for Brothers and his two tries were important.
Powerhouse Seagull Tyler Keogh-Paladin did all he could and was best for his team.
Lyncoln Rebel starred as well for Brothers with a brace of tries and conversions. "He carved up as usual and the boys just controlled the game and they were just really good and patient," Silvester said.
The coach said some of his players were sent to the sin bin, and it helped Tannum mount a mini-comeback.
"We played with 12 men to finish off and any team that's down to 12 men is going to have to do it tough," he said.
Silvester said the future at Brothers looked bright, with his crop of juniors ready to transition into senior ranks.
Seagulls coach Craig Karakyriacos said a slow start was costly. "Lyncoln Rebel put us on the back foot and the boys settled and lifted in the second half, but you can't chase wins against teams that you give a head start to."