Brothers quiet achiever builds platform for Aussie stars
RUGBY LEAGUE: Brothers women's side may be packed with superstars but it was little known recruit Taimane Levu who led the charge in their latest 42-16 victory.
Buoyed by the return of international hooker Brittany Breayley, the talent-rich outfit overcame a sloppy start to record its second win of the season over the Toowoomba Valleys Roosters in the SEQ Division 1 clash away from home.
Packing down at prop and second row, Levu showed her more experienced teammates the way forward time and time again, allowing brilliant Australian halfback Ali Brigginshaw to work her magic.
Entering the contest, the blue and white were wary of facing a Roosters' team that was playing in front of its home fans for the first time this season and was sure to be fired up.
However, the game did not go to plan in the opening minutes, with consecutive errors giving the Roosters possession and the upper hand as they crossed for a converted try to take a 6-0 advantage.
Gradually, the Brethren wrestled back the ascendency through the middle of the park.
By half-time, Brothers were in front 22-6, pleasing coach Liam Bromilow.
"They got the jump on us but we clawed our way back into it,” he said. "It was not an ideal start but we worked solidly to get the lead and hold onto it.”
In the second stanza, Brothers put the Roosters to the sword, with Levu inspiring from the front and speedy fullback Courtney Robinson a constant threat.
Meanwhile, the class of Brigginshaw and Breayley was evident, as the representative duo pulled the strings, orchestrating the assault with sublime control and precision.
In her comeback from a shoulder injury, Breayley was instrumental, playing the whole 80 minutes and getting through the match unscathed.
"Brittany had a good solid hit-out,” Bromilow said.
"Our attack was definitely improved and her shoulder is still in one piece.”
Although the offence was firing on all cylinders, Bromilow said the most impressive aspect of the performance was his side's defensive resolve.
"We spent a lot of the pre-season working on our defensive structure,” he said. "And they didn't go through us.
"All of their tries were scored out-wide on the edges. Our defence in the middle held up.”
After four rounds, Brothers has won two, lost one and had the bye.
No SEQ games are on this weekend, with the south-east Queensland representative teams to be announced and those players selected across the three sides to attend training camps.
Brothers hope to have upwards of 10 players named, including State of Origin foursome second rower Kody House, fullback Amelia Kuk, Brigginshaw and Breayley.
Bromilow said there had been some angst among the representative prospects over selections and his squad would benefit once the teams were finalised.
"This will be good for us,” he said. "Once we get it out of the way, we should be able to focus on playing footy.”
In the next encounter in a fortnight, the Raceview club plays Tweed at the Gold Coast.
Brothers belted Tweed 50-0 in a pre-season trial but the Seagulls have since improved dramatically. They knocked off four-time defending champs Burleigh last weekend.
Goodna drew 8-8 with Run-away Bay and Redbank Plains lost 36-20 to North Lakes in the latest lower division SEQ games.