Si­b­lings aim­ing for dou­ble act

Townsville Bulletin - - NRL - by Michael Thompson michael. thompson@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

A DREAM NRL de­but is within touch­ing dis­tance for for­mer Bris­bane Bronco and 2010 NYC player of the year Tariq Sims.

Sims will make his in­au­gu­ral first-grade ap­pear­ance along­side brother Ash­ton i f he makes the cut from a five-man bench named by Cow­boys coach Neil Henry.

‘‘ Even if he ( Tariq) doesn’t play it will be a re­ward for his ef­forts and it’ll give him a bit of ex­pe­ri­ence trav­el­ling down in the first grade team,’’ Henry said.

Tariq, 21, wasn’t avail­able to speak with me­dia yes­ter­day but his proud brother Ash­ton said the mo­ment would be im- por­tant whether Tariq took to the field or not.

It is un­der­stood ei­ther Lee­son Ah Mau or the younger Sims will be named 18th man.

‘‘ Hope­fully he learns like I did when I started out, I started at 18th man my­self and it’s a re­ally good learn­ing curve to see how it all works be­hind the scenes and get ready for when his time comes,’’ Ash­ton said.

The pair played on the same rugby league team for the first time ever dur­ing the Cow­boys’ 26-4 loss to the Bron­cos in Alice Springs last month.

While some fans might find that hard to be­lieve, a five-year age gap made any on-field as­so­ci­a­tion dur­ing their ju­nior or school years im­pos­si­ble.

Fate has in­ter­vened,

how- ever, and now the two brothers could make their first ap­pear­ance to­gether on one of the NRL’s big­gest stages.

Ash­ton, 26, signed for the Cow­boys last year, about one month af­ter his brother, while en­dur­ing a be­low-par sea­son f o r Br i s b a n e . T o morr o w’ s block­buster is the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for him to prove this sea­son will be dif­fer­ent.

‘ ‘ I t wasn’t my best year through in­jury and form, I think I only played about 10 or 11 games last year so I’m def­i­nitely keen to get back out there and I felt good in the trial matches,’’ he said.

‘‘. . . There’s go­ing to be a lit­tle bit of emo­tion there but I’m a North Queens­land Cow­boy now.’’

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