NEW ERA: Rockhampton Brothers co-captains Jacob Langdon and Mitch Zornig with coach Damien Seibold (middle) at Victoria Park.
NEW ERA: Rockhampton Brothers co-captains Jacob Langdon and Mitch Zornig with coach Damien Seibold (middle) at Victoria Park. Matty Holdsworth

A clean slate for the Bretheren

RUGBY LEAGUE: It's a new dawn, new day and new life for Rockhampton Brothers. The slate is clean.

The pain of an undefeated regular season where the ultimate prize went begging still lingers - if only in the peripheral.

 

Coach Damien Seibold, while a floored figure at full-time on September 3 last year, refuses to look back on the grand final loss with a negative cap.

The Bretheren lost to arch rivals Norths Chargers 24-18 after leading by 12 with as many minutes remaining.

"If someone asked me at the start of the year if we could finish first and win as many games as we did and make the grand final, I would have taken it," Seibold disclosed.

"I was very proud of the effort last year, we did great things. While the end result wasn't ideal, I can take so much out of it.

"100% it makes you hungrier. We want to go that one step extra.

"As much as it hurt last year, we have to move on. It is just footy."

READ: The three reasons why the CQ Leagues Club shut down.

Hitting the Victoria Park paddock early November has been part of the therapy. That, and a heart to heart with the playing group, instilling his pride on his team.

But the one thing missing?

"Luck. You always need that element of luck," he responded.

"Norths had it with 10 to go and were too good. But with hard work and commitment, you make your own luck.

"We started in November, lots of ball work, not much horrible, boring fitness stuff. Just games based and skill work so far.

"I think we showed we could deal with adversity last year, we found a way to win games we shouldn't have. We do know how to win the tight ones, this year we have to go one better."

The core of Brothers remain, the spine is intact and some of the region's best juniors are raring to go.

 

Ex-Capra Mitch Zornig will co-captain Rockhampton Brothers A-grade side this season.
Ex-Capra Mitch Zornig will co-captain Rockhampton Brothers A-grade side this season. Sharyn O'Neill ROK070314scapra4

While Seibold loses skipper Tom Simpson and back-line stars Troy O'Sullivan and Jake Ainsworth, he ushers in veteran Capra Ian Webster and young prop Lachlan Hall, to name but a few.

His biggest change comes at the helm with new leaders - co-captains Jacob Langdon and Mitch Zornig.

"They are both very experienced and both Brothers juniors. Everyone at the club looks up to them.

"Both completely different players. Jacob is our half and Mitch a back-rower.

"Jacob can implement a game plan, and is a smart half where as Mitch will lead by example and is as tough as they come.

"They are both great talkers and I really think the combination will work really well."

 

Rocky Brothers Jacob Langdon.
Photo Tamara MacKenzie / The Morning Bulletin
Rocky Brothers Jacob Langdon. Photo Tamara MacKenzie / The Morning Bulletin Tamara MacKenzie ROK130616tkrugb

For halfback Langdon, a player who lost three grand finals without success, sees 2017 as his best chance to date.

"A title would mean everything. I counted my chickens last year and we got so close," he said.

"Particularly being the 100th year, its going to be a massive year. There is so much history to the club and older heads who who to chat about their premierships."

Zornig, a softer spoken hardman, has pushed the mental scars to one side.

"We don't look at it as a failure too much," the one-time North Queensland Cowboys under-20s rep said.

"Yes, it did sting. But we are very proud of our year. Winning would have just been a bonus to a great season.

"Norths just got us in the end. Every time we played them they improved, and that's all there is to it."

Not since 2013 have Brothers tasted the sweet success of a premiership. Yeppoon Seagulls swooped to the top gong in 2014 and 15, before the Chargers produced the shock of the season in 16.

A former CQ Capras assistant coach, the Bretheren know under Seibold, they have a coach credential enough to take them all the way.

Now, the onus is on them.



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