Teach­ers shocked

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMP­SON michael. thomp­son@ news. com. au

BROTH­ERS have proved this year’s Townsville and Dis­tricts Rugby Union pre­mier­ship race is far from a fore­gone con­clu­sion af­ter thump­ing ti­tle favourites Teach­ers West 53- 14.

Broth­ers over­came a tough first half to pile on seven tries to the Bull­dogs’ two, scor­ing ar­guably the sea­son’s most sur­pris­ing re­sult just a month out from fi­nals rugby.

Broth­ers for­ward Blair Mor­gan made his play­ing re­turn for the blue and white af­ter re­turn­ing from his English so­journ, adding fur­ther strength to his team’s set pieces, and An­drew Parker and Emil Grant were again solid up front.

Broth­ers coach Shane Laskey said his team needed to show a dras­tic turn in form to com­pete with Teach­ers fol­low­ing the pre­vi­ous week­end’s dif­fi­cult win over Ross River.

“It was def­i­nitely a vast im­prove­ment, and it had to be,” he said.

“We sat down with the team lead­ers early last week and spoke about what we needed to fix, and our at­ti­tude was right on the day.

“Our set pieces were a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ball game to the last game we played, which is re­ally im­por­tant against a team like Teach­ers.”

Teach­ers scored a onesided 33- 0 win over Broth­ers the last time the two teams met, but Broth­ers scored re­demp­tion at their Ig­natius Park Col­lege home to close within a hand­ful of com­pe­ti­tion points of Teach­ers and re­main a mi­nor pre­mier­ship threat.

Teach­ers’ play­maker Gene Mor­gan ( above) con­ceded his team had been blown off the park by a su­perb Broth­ers’ per­for­mance.

“It was a bit of a shock ... their sec­ond half was awe­some,” he said.

“We just didn’t re­ally get any go for­ward, and when we man­aged to go out wide they seemed to stop it eas­ily.

“They got the jump on us early and we re­ally couldn’t get back in the game.

“The only pos­i­tive I guess we could take from it is we know where they can beat us.”

Bur­dekin were made to work hard for their 41- 19 win over Char­ters Tow­ers, lead­ing 30- 19 at half­time be­fore seal­ing it with a mam­moth de­fen­sive ef­fort in the sec­ond half.

Sam Knuth got a dou­ble for the Bulls, while Jeff Sul­li­van, Lach­lan Kerr, Da­mon Hesp, Shane Kennedy, Kieran Kerr and Jeff Searle scored tries for Bur­dekin.

North Ward sit one place be­hind Bur­dekin in fourth, and are clos­ing in on seal­ing a fi­nals’ spot af­ter down­ing Ross River 26- 19.

WEL­COME BACK: Broth­ers back Bren­dan Mor­gan gets a kick away dur­ing his side’s thump­ing win over Teach­ers West at Ig­natius Park Col­lege on Satur­day. Pic­ture: SCOTT RADFORD- CHISHOLM

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