Brothers snatch late victory
A sensational 78th-minute Ash Humble field goal secured Brothers the win and broke arch rivals Norths' hearts in a fierce game at Victoria Park yesterday afternoon.
In the most bitter of all Rockhampton A-grade rugby league rivalries, Brothers led 12-6 late in the first half but Norths fought back to level the scores right on half-time.
"Despite the score line I was happy with how we were going in the middle. It showed that we were sometimes getting on top of them," Brothers coach Scott Bodley said.
Brothers had a chance to regain control of the game in the second half but they dropped the ball at kick-off, turning over possession to Norths.
"We let Norths in for an easy try, giving them their first lead of the game," Bodley said.
However, in the final minutes of the game Humble took aim at a field goal from 20 metres out, putting it over to win Brothers the game.
The ecstatic Brothers coach said he never doubted Humble would land the do-or-die attempt.
The win put Brothers in first place on points differential, above Fitzroy-Gracemere Sharks.
"It was a really tough game and for us to find a way to win was great," Bodley said.
"Norths are a really good footy side. I think they will be the ones to beat when it comes to finals time."
In yesterday's match Nick Boulter showed he is fast emerging as Brothers' secret weapon, with the youngster nabbing his first try for the A-grade team.
"He had his first run with us and I thought he played extremely well," Bodley said.
"Ian Bowie also proved dangerous out on the paddock and is continuing to improve."
With both teams missing players to the Capras, Bodley said it left his team with just two players on the bench late in the second half.
"Cooper Nobbs suffered a hand injury and Michael Dixon hurt his knee, which was a shame," he said.
"But Norths were missing a few blokes too which gave us no excuse."
Bodley knows his team's completion rate and fitness will need to improve if it is to advance to the finals of the competition this year.
"Our completion rates improved on last week but it was still only 60% possession," he said.
"We still need to fix up a few things to stop those few lapses but at the moment they seem to be occurring due to some players' fitness levels.
"I like to think we will be fit enough to not worry about getting tired and the heat."
The A-grade coach hopes this week to work on attacking within the 20 before taking on grand final rivals Yeppoon Seagulls this weekend.
"We lost a bit of direction in our attack within our 20 throughout the game." Bodley said. "We need to make sure everyone knows where to run when we get down our end."
Brothers take on Yeppoon Seagulls Saturday night at Victoria Park in a rematch of last year's grand final.
Brothers 29 (Nick Boulter, S Grandille, Dan Vertucci, Reece Chapman 2 tries, Ash Humble 4 goals, field goal), Norths 28 (Anthony Toby 4, Russell Webber tries, James Waterton 4 goals)