Burdekin banishes Brothers
WINNERS: North Ward’s Dan Wright on the charge A FAST-FINISHING Brothers will have to start their Townsville and District Rugby Union premiership defence from behind.
The Brethren were beaten 17-14 at Casalegno Field by predicted 2011 heavyweights Burdekin.
It wasn’t the result he wanted, but new coach Peter Nielsen wasn’t too worried either.
With an injury list as long as his arm and, like all teams, a disrupted buildup to the season opener, Brothers trailed 10-nil at halftime and 17-0 just after the break before they set up an exciting finish with two tries in the final 20 minutes.
‘‘ You’re never happy when you lose – ( winning) is the ultimate goal – but I’m actually very impressed and happy with the way the guys went, it showed me there’s a a fairly good attitude in the club,’’ Nielsen said.
‘‘ The performance those guys put on the park was pretty special given the negatives before the game.’’
It was by far the closest game of the round, as Teachers West made an explosive start with a 75-3 thrashing of University.
North Ward also put Ross River to the sword 40-5, although the Redskins showed some promise on their way to a 10-5 halftime deficit before the Old Boys’ class shone through in the second 40 minutes.
But it was last season’s runners-up, Teachers that sent the biggest warning shot with their 13 tries-to-nil flogging of Uni.
Four players – Daniel Davis, Shaun Barclay, Shane Shepherd and Ricky Abraham – each bagged try-scoring doubles as the Bulldogs scored early and never looked back.
‘‘ It helps us get our cohesion and team work on track. When you start coming up against the Brothers and the Burdekins ( the scoreline) doesn’t really help a lot from that perspective,’’ coach Pita Thompson said.
‘‘ But it was very good to blow out the cobwebs and get back into the season.’’
University coach Steve Gowdy, on the other hand, conceded there was a lot of work to be done for his new-look team.