Brothers stormed into the IRL A-grade grand final after demolishing Norths yesterday at North Ipswich Reserve.
Brothers stormed into the IRL A-grade grand final after demolishing Norths yesterday at North Ipswich Reserve. David Nielsen

Brothers back in dream duel

BROTHERS handed Norths a finals' lesson while also giving footy fans a dream grand final match-up.

The minor premiers were far too strong for the Tigers yesterday at North Ipswich Reserve in an A-grade game where just holding on to the ball was a win in itself.

In blustery conditions, Brothers skipped away to a 10-point halftime lead and never looked threatened in the second half, eventually running out 34-8 winners.

Half Jason Connors and back rower Liu Faamate were dominant as Brothers set up a mouth-watering grand final re-match with arch rival Fassifern.

At the other end, little went right for the Tigers.

Penalty kicks failed to find touch while kick-offs went out on the full.

Dropped ball seemed to be Norths' most consistent play of the day and they regularly gave away field position and possession through undisciplined penalties.

Brothers also struggled for fluency but showed that when given time and space, they can put points on as quickly as anyone.

Connors was involved in everything in the first half and capped off a busy half with a clever chip and regather for his team's fourth try of the first half.

The halfback said after some slow starts, his team was focused on putting points on the board with the early wind advantage.

"We were nervous early but we weathered it and once we got some momentum, we were fine," Connors said.

"Running into the breeze was tough so we were focused on getting a lot of points early.

"Once we got a roll on, Kruge's and I got plenty of space and it was much easier to put points on."

While it wasn't pretty football, the result was everything Brothers coach Mick Wilson could have asked for and more.

His team was robust in defence, aggressive in attack and finished the day without any more serious injury concerns ahead of the grand final.

Wilson heaped praise on his team for the professional performance.

"It was a bit sloppy but there was plenty of feeling in the tackles out there," Wilson said.

"I was really happy with our defence.

"They scored an early try but we really gutsed it out.

"I'm really proud of our guys."

Looking forward to this week, Wilson said it would be business as usual at Brothers.

"Nothing changes," he said.

"I just trust these boys completely. They've done everything I've asked of them, now it's just one more step."

Norths may have fell short of an unlikely A-grade grand final appearance but for the loss saves the Norths brains trust a headache on grand final day.

Six members of the Tigers A grade line-up are also under-18 stars. They are free to play full games in the junior decider on Sunday without the pressure of backing up for an A-grade contest.

 

Grand finals on Sunday at North Ipswich Reserve: A Grade - Fassifern v Brothers. Reserve Grade: Goodna v Fassifern. Under-18: Norths v Brothers. Challenge Cup: Lowood v Laidley. Open Grade: Springfield v Brothers.

STATE OF PLAY

Brothers proved why they were minor premiers by steamrolling the Tigers.

They were still patchy in attack and will have to be much cleaner with the ball to beat Fassifern.

Fassifern v Brothers is a rematch of last year's decider and the seventh straight grand final for Brothers