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.