Brothers feel heat on the road
THERE are just three more weeks of the abbreviated Junior Rugby Union competition and that means teams will be looking closely at past results to ensure they can make a top-two finish in their age-group.
One team in that position was the highly talented Brothers under-16 team.
Going into the competition, Brothers was picked as the team to beat but sometimes rugby can be cruel and Saturday's round of games was proof of that.
Brothers had the trip to Blackwater for the match against a Central Highlands team which is always difficult to beat on home soil. Coach Patrick Heagney said he was surprised at the difference in temperature out west with his youngsters experiencing conditions about six degrees higher than they had in Rockhampton.
Plus his task was made almost impossible with just 14 players travelling.
"The match was played in four quarters (because of the heat)," he said. "The first two were almost like touch football."
Early in the game the powerful Brothers pack dominated but as the match progressed the big men tired and Central Highlands took control to win 34-22.
Compounding the problem of having no bench players, Brothers also fell foul with the match official who ordered players to the sin-bin.
"At times we only had 12 players on the field," he said.
"I am a little disappointed (to lose) as our forwards were dominant in the first half. However, getting away with a win would have been a bonus."
Heagney said his halfback Cooper Jones did a ton of work, as he has throughout the program.
Also the coach is happy with his two "finds", New Zealand brothers Matt and Dan Kay.
"They are a couple of props," Heagney said.
However, the pair are very mobile and the coach said neither would look out of place in the centres.
Brothers will need to have all big guns firing as chief rival Colts will be the opposition in both the under-16 and 18 age groups on Saturday.
Despite a last-minute try that took the game the way of Colts, Frenchville under-16 coach Brian Auld was happy with the display from his young side.
"We went down 10-7 with the Colts' try coming right on full-time," he said.
Auld knew this season would test the Frenchville youngsters but they have come through well.
"We are getting better as the season goes on," he said.
During the program there have been players who have stood tall and Auld picked his first-five Josh Kele as a player with a future while utility Joseph Palmer is always ready to put his hand up for extra work and tackle himself to standstill for the Frenchville cause.
Auld has also been impressed with the way all clubs in this year's competition have done their best to ensure the program runs smoothly despite a couple of date clashes causing teams to struggle to get correct numbers.
Auld also had something to smile about with the Frenchville try as it came from winger Travis Butler on debut.
The coach said the St Brendan's player got on the end of a chip-and-chase to get the reward. Toby Barraclough scored the conversion with a kick from the sideline.
Under-14s -Not available
Under-16s - Colts 10 def Frenchville 7
Central Highlands 34 def Brothers 22 (at Blackwater)
Under-18s - Colts 20 def Frenchville 11
Gladstone 42 def Brothers 14.