Brothers send strong message for rivals
LEAGUE: In a game of two halves, Brothers sent a message to the competition.
With their squad back to full strength after a spate of injuries, the Leprechauns showed their talent against the Waves Tigers as they raced to a 28-6 lead at half-time in the Bundaberg Rugby League.
When they scored again right after the break, the defending premiers looked to be home with a 28-point margin, but the Waves had other ideas.
Spurred on by a half-time talk by Tigers coach Antonio Kaufusi, the team responded to score 22 unanswered points.
Led by Reuben Baillie they reduced the margin to six points with four minutes remaining, before a late try to Brothers eliminated any chance of a Tigers win as Brothers won 40-28.
Talking after the game, coach Mat Templeman said fitness almost cost the team at the end.
“Fitness did show in the second half,” he said.
“That’s (Waves) a full-strength team so to put them to the sword like that is pleasing.”
Templeman said stopping their forward pack was vital in the win.
“Defensively it was a team effort and we bashed them in the first half.
“They have got a much-fancied forward pack than us and our smaller guys really got in there and tackled well with their technique.”
Brothers also said they weren’t at their best yet.
“Tonight was the first game back for a lot of these players who have been missing for a month,” he said.
“We can only get better from this.”
Despite coming back in the second half, the Tigers were critical of their first 40 minutes.
Kaufusi said it wasn’t good enough and demanded a response.
“I questioned the boys about playing as a team,” he said.
“We left it too late (in the second half ) and the damage was done in the first half.”
Kaufusi said one shining light was Baillie and he was a real competitor throughout the match along with Vahiti Hopoi.
Both teams will have a bye this week.
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