IT was the first loss of the season for the Drovers, as Brothers ambushed the league leader at Rugby Park on Saturday.
After winning 57-3 against the same opponent last week at Moura, Drovers were expected to record another victory, even if the margin was never likely to be as great.
"They had all their players back, while we still have nine missing," Drovers coach Jack Wright said.
However, it was not to be, as the Drovers went down by two points despite out-scoring Brothers two tries to one.
"We had 30% of the ball and therefore defended exceptionally well," Wright said.
"They went around the edges once (to score their try). Their points came from long-range penalties and a field goal.
"There was a penalty count of 25-7 against us.
"It's a discipline experience.
"When you have that little possession the penalty count is always going to be high."
Wright was a bit confused about how his team could be considered to be almost four times less disciplined than Brothers but refused to blame the referee.
"We should have been smarter," he said.
Despite the lack of possession, Wright said his team always looked dangerous running with the ball.
"Every time we broke their line we put points on the board."
Drovers were up to matching Brothers in the forwards and Wright thought that was another positive to come from the game.
"They had the Rockhampton front row, while our oldest (in the tight five) was 22," he said.
Drovers' two tries came from winger Boyd Sanderson.
"He's quick and a big lad. He did a very good job," Wright said.
On the other wing Brock Woltman also performed well for the Drovers, while Wright also gave Angus Creedon the thumbs-up and consistent playmaker Dan Hayes shone again.
The return of Lee Anderson to Rockhampton rugby is a big boost for Brothers this season. His kicking game is a vital part of his team's plan, regularly turning the opposition around.
The final blow for Drovers came with a kick. With the seconds ticking away until full-time, a field goal gave Brothers a lead they had not enjoyed throughout most of the match.
Brothers 16 def Dawson Valley 14
Colts 27 def Gladstone 21
Blackwater 36 def Frenchville 0