Weakened Brahmans suffer loss
THE Thrifty Brahmans opened the Country Championship with a 24-22 loss to Central Highlands at Emerald, leaving coach Frank Busby searching for positives from the result.
For Busby and the players from Colts the loss was a new experience, because in the CQ club competition Colts have been close to unbeatable for the past three years.
The Brahmans travelled without key players Jono Bradbury (work commitments) and Lance Robb, who was struck down with a virus.
The last-minute losses weakened the CQ team, which also suffered because Gladstone, with half a dozen Brahmans, had beaten Frenchville on Friday night but suffered injuries in the process.
The situation was made worse when centre Charlie Fetoai suffered concussion early in the game and played little part.
“We had them in the first 20 minutes,” Busby said.
It was a typical Fetoai run that allowed the Brahmans to take a 10-0 lead, through his try and a penalty and conversion from Mitchell Smith.
From there the wheels fell off. Without Bradbury and Robb the Brahmans were ineffective in the line-outs, while the pack had too many inexperienced players to out-muscle the hosts.
Ash Kris can be a match-winner but with his forwards going backwards he became an easy target for eager opponents.
Despite their setbacks the Brahmans came close to victory. They were awarded a penalty in the dying seconds, only for the reliable Smith to miss the target.
The Brahmans' next game is against Townsville at Rugby Park on April 30.