Brothers blow away West End
BROTHERS proved it is not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog that matters most.
Brothers beat the Bulldogs 41-18 in Saturday's IRL elimination semi-final to end West End's season. It came just three weeks after West End had beaten Brothers 36-0 in a round match.
It was a different story on Saturday however, with the Bulldogs having no answer to the tenacity of the smaller Brothers forward pack.
Brothers' defence slowed the Bulldogs down and halted their momentum at the ruck.
When Brothers had the ball they used their superior mobility to their advantage, running West End ragged with their pace of play.
"We trained pretty hard so it was satisfying to see it come off," Brothers captain Jack Boettcher said. "We wanted to play up-tempo.
"We didn't worry about them too much; we just wanted to play our own game.
"We sort of ran them off their feet at the end."
When West End thrashed Brothers three weeks ago it could have spelt doom and gloom for the men in blue and white.
But that's not how they operate at Wildey Street, and they used the experience to their advantage to retain hope the club can reach its 10th straight A grade final.
"Last time we learned a few harsh lessons," Boettcher said.
"We let them get quick play-the-balls and struggled to slow them down.
"We gave away too much ball so we wanted to control it better."
They did, completing 22 or 26 sets in the first half to lead 16-0.
However Boettcher said he felt the game was far from over at that point. "They've got class all over the park so we knew they were going to come back," he said.
But the senior Brothers forwards - Boettcher, Beau Yates and Matt Hamill - and halves Cameron Picker and Willie Oloitoa, ensured there was no letting West End back into it.
"The younger blokes got a lot of confidence seeing us dominate in the forwards," Boettcher said.
"Everyone had to stand up.
"We executed our plays better.
"Willie and Cam controlled things really well.
"But we're definitely going to have to play better.
"Goodna and Norths are very good sides."