Best and Fairest Points;
3pts - Joel Brooks
2pts - Jayde Gray
1pt - Tom Carnaffan
1 pt - Tyler Chant
3 points Joel Brooks
1 point Stuart Raines
Goals; 1 Conversion, 1 Penalty Goal, 1 Drop Goal; Stuart Raines
Well with a late change in venue we arrived down to Carrs Park to find a Hills side already there in numbers and warming up with purpose, we as usual seemed to adapt a more casual approach to the match, whilst knowing what was at stake and the importance of the match, we went through our paces in a relaxed frame of mind. With the late venue change and weather not ideal to anyone, at least we'd had a chance to train together on the Thursday, mind you with blind dodge ball in the dark and 100; footies, soccer balls, volley balls, badminton balls, handballs and a pilates ball flying around how anyone (besides Rosie) didn't get hurt in that gym I don't know.
The pre game warm up saw our captaincy transition completed, with Charles heading off overseas in a week or two, after seeking counsel with some senior team members on the Thursday it was agreed and announced that Justin Gates will lead the team forward into the finals. After some inspirational words from the coaching and management staff the team took to the field in a determined state of mind.
The Hills Kick Off didn't go ten metres but the ref missed this and we had to scramble to recover, never expect a whistle boys! Some smart kicking by Joel Brooks got us well out of our territory and on our first incursion into their territory a penalty gave us the opportunity for Stuey to take the three points.
Forced to we soaked up plenty of pressure in our own 22 and some trademark Kilby defence, on one occasion taking the winger in a necessary one on one before he scooted across the line, we ensured their scoring opportunities didn't flow. Questions were asked of our defensive lines and crucially these requirements were met. On many occasions the brothers sidelines saw what looked like certain Hills scoring opportunities rejected at the last. At one stage they had a three man overlap which promised to deliver for all money until Brooks took an intercept to turn them on their heels. Our defence wasn't immaculate however and Hills were able to capitalise on some opportunities.
It must be note that some important scrums went against us on the day and we will need to watch this in the following games, keeping the tight 5 focussed on not losing a single ball off our feed is imperative.
Some cool heads between the likes of Joel, Vuli, Stuey and Gates turned loose and dangerous ball around the fringes back in to solid platform ball. After a few attacking options came up empty handed and finding our structure a bit disorganised Stuey with a coolness of mind popped it over for 3 off the boot and we were content to take that back to the halfway, turning around for another crack.
There were a couple opportunities which we didn't capatalise on and some very close calls indeed; Stuey showed great sleight of hand and foot to face an open line but lost the ball only metres from crossing under the posts. Jayde took a lineout down with our rolling maul crossing the chalk but the ref pulled it up as held up.
Tom Carnaffan! In another solid performance produced another bullocking trademark wingers run securing the try again, his second in a week. And as I was about to go into the sheds and get changed I saw Charles Kilby cross the line after a good run.
General comments from the coach on a win that we were both extremely pleased about;
"- The team showed great focus and poise under sustained pressure and consistently went through the process which was rewarded with either territory or points
- The team finally showed it could lift when it needed to and fire on all cylinders
- The team showed It had the ability to shrug of an player error or a set back like a try or penalty kick against them, regather their composure as a team and get on with the job
- The team showed their versatility to be able to play both a wet and dry brand of rugby that gets results
- once again there was strong evidence of better cohesion between forwards and backs with Tyler proving an invaluable link
The majority of players appeared to accept this week's challenge and stepped up a notch and did the job they needed to do on the field and really backed each other, especially in defence. The team as a unit seems to be coming together nicely and look to be peaking at the right time. Some of the key combinations seemed to strengthen a little more this week and will hopefully chime well throughout the finals.
There is still work to be done and there are still some players that haven't maximised their potential and need to lift their work rate, focus on doing their job and show greater commitment with their on-field involvement. Now the team is at the pointy end of the season it's time for everyone to truly start realising what's at stake and what's required to win a premiership. Now is the time to start training with real purpose, honing those key skills, ensuring everyone in the team knows the plays and what's going on and most importantly, everyone needs to understand there is no room for passengers, it's time for everyone to step up to the plate and put their body on the line.
Practice doesn't make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect."
This was another solid, well ground out win and a great result for us, we have given ourselves every chance and the Minor Premiership will be decided in Hills upcoming game against Roseville (which I may go watch at Roseville this Saturday if anyone is interested). Our path to the Grand Final is yet to be plotted but it is likely to involve a knock out semi versus the Mountain team, a club that has proved the fly in the ointment for many Brothers senior grade finals outings, make no mistake boys these boys can and will lift when a place in the Grand Final is on offer. Likewise if we happen to play Roseville in this game they will lift with a premiership in the offing and they are a team that have proven they can put us off our game, discipline and preparation will prepare us for either outcome. And a likely Grand Final against this same team Hills that we have now shown we can beat. We can continue to build in performance and potentially win this Grand Final with more finesse than we showed on the weekend and in some more comfort. Through our recent performances it is absolutely clearly evident to me that we are building as a team, we are playing with more cohesion each week, we had a lull against Hornsby and learnt from our mistakes, we put a solid performance on the park against Mountains and lifted the intensity as required against Hills. We do have the talent and capability and by preparing well for the task at hand we can ensure we give ourselves every opportunity to claim the 2012 Radford Cup! Congratulations on this win boys a fantastic effort lets get our mind onto the job of finishing this season off in the number 1 position, it is I believe where we belong!
In the lead up to the finals we have especially organised the below schedule which give us a genuine break from playing (and training over the next week or two) a chance to rest up and get over some of the niggling injuries and then have a good hit out in a match against Hornsby the week before the finals. We will also be introducing some Tuesday night training sessions to build towards the finals. Please mark these dates in the diary and make sure you are available.
Additionally now is the time for everything to be returning to training, if you intend to be available to the team for the semi's we need to see you at training. A few players who have dropped out with injury and travel would be welcome back to the team to start preparing for the big games.
No training or game this week or the following week.
Training Tuesday the 3rd of July
Training Thursday the 5th of July
Game vs Hornsby 7th July Likely time and venue; 10:45am at Roseville Chase
Training Tuesday the 10th July
Training Thursday the 12th July
1st Final Saturday 14th July and assuming we win this knock out final;
Possibly a training session for Tuesday17th July
Training Thursday 19th July
Grand Final Saturday 21st of July
Details To Be Confirmed
Saturday 7th July 10:45am at Roseville Chase
Brothers 0 - 24 Convicts
We know how Convicts are going to play, having played them a number of times last season. Stopping that is another thing altogether.
We started well, and tried to put together phases of possession.
Matt G and Big Andy got some go forward and started to punch some holes in the Convicts defence.
But their superior organisation and familiarisation with each other helped them gain momentum.
Despite the four tries they scored, we never once put our heads down.
We forced them into some aimless kicking and chased down their strong runners before they got to the gainline, but all the defensive work took its toll eventually.
We can be proud of this performance, and it gives us something to build on for the next few weeks.
Heads up, next up is Blue Mountains.
3: Niall: "Gutsy" - coach Andy.
2: Mick Nicol - solid defence against a physical midfield. Good decision making.
1: Carnaffon - Pace and guile at the back and turned defence into attack a number of times.
Brothers 8 - 8 St George
Another one that got away from us.
We controlled the entire first half and didn't give them a sniff.
If we had stayed a bit more composed then we could have had more points.
Going into the second half we were still 8-0 ahead, but in the second half we started giving them far more ball than we had allowed them in the first half.
They made a couple of breaks, and that gave them confidence to come at us.
They finished off with a penalty kick to win the game that fortunately for us they missed.
This game really underlines that we need to keep the ball, and force the momentum ourselves and not give the ball away.
Matt G could have scored a try, but it was ruled out for double movement. Which to be honest was generous, as there was at least five movements!!
Niall got over for the single try, but should have gone under the posts to seal the conversion as well. These are the little things that make big differences.
3: Dr. Fokker: Vocal presence and ran the team from the front, and kept discipline. Listening to the vast experience he brings is something we as a team need to do more.
2: Willie : Great to this this fella back. Dynamic in the loose, and his versatility is a great addition to the squad.
1: Dean : Good service, great marshalling of forwards. Fantastic try saving tackle in the second half.
Brothers 73 - 0 St George
When our first choice second grade side are on the pitch, they're going to be hard to stop.
This week was one of those weeks.
Brute and Parso have them playing some nice stuff, and Geoff and Joel are able to get our strong runners onto the ball at pace.
Jonny Gibbs went over for the first try after barely a handful of minutes and from then on in we never took our foot off their throats.
It was a formidable performance, and one that shows that this team now not only knows how to win but also has a killer instinct.
This killer instinct will need to be nurtured in order to finish off the season as we started it.
Joel and Wes made nuisances of themselves by scoring a hattrick each.
Matty Mc got a brace.
And Kit and Geoff got another one each.
It could have been 75 - 0 but Geoff opted to drop kick the last conversion despite Matty opting to have a go... Turned out to be a bit of a shank!
3: Matty Mc : Nice work from the veteran ginger. Good penetration and defence. Scored another two tries.
2: Enda : More good work from the big Irish Unit. Dominated lineouts and contact as per usual.
1: Chris : Good to see him back after a couple of missed weeks. Steeled the scrum and did lots of dirty work. High work rate.
Brothers 50 - 0 St George
Better performance than last week, but then again that wouldn't be all that hard.
St George are always physical and have some solidly built guys who like a big hit one on one.
But as we eased into the game our organisation came to the fore and we started to nail our patterns.
Once that started happening, we started to drill holes in the defence.
This win leaves us unbeaten at the top of the Clark Cup.
Next up is the biggest game of the season by a long way against Blue Mountains.
They have been going well and winning games well despite not picking up too many bonus points, but as always will be a very tough proposition at home up at Lapstone.
The Flying Mo and Blacky bagged a brace each.
Kapene, Jonny Chirish, and Francis got one each.
And finally Si Kearney scored his first try for Brothers in a while after Kit absolutely dominated a St George guy in contact...
3: Kapene : Controlled the game, broke the line, and solid in defence. Good all round game from a guy in form at the moment.
2: Johhny Nichols : Loves the dirty work, cleaning out rucks, anchoring the scrum and the odd toe to toe confrontation!
1: Vinny : Controlled the piggies, and got nice quick ball out wide. Sniped constantly.