Brothers survive Swift attack
RUGBY LEAGUE: Brothers hung on for a narrow 32-30 victory over Swifts in a thriller at Purga this afternoon.
With both teams playing in honour of former clubmate, the late Shaquille Eruera, the stage was set for a top of the table exchange overflowing with passion.
Inspired, the Bluebirds came out swinging.
To the dismay of Brothers coach Jason Connors they piled on two early tries before the blue and white could blink an eye.
"We started off really poorly and they were firing," Connors said.
"We should have been up for it but it took a little bit to get going. But we responded well which was good."
The Brethren wrestled back the upper hand and current player of the year favourite Wes Conlon took control, guiding his team to a 24-14 half-time advantage.
Upon return to the field, Swifts played with renewed vigour, while complacency marred the Raceview powerhouse's game, displeasing the coach.
"The performance was not where I would like it to be," Connors said.
"Our senior players needed to take more control in the second half.
"There was not enough effort in key moments and errors creeping in.
"We were lucky to get the win in the end."
Connors could not speak more highly of the performance of Matt Bell. Playing in the front row, Bell did not take a backward step. Defensive hitman Beau Yates also returned to his damaging best.
Connors said the memorial match was a special occasion and extremely well-presented.
"There was a great atmosphere," he said. "It was really well run."
In today's other A-Grade game, the Redbank Plains Bears handed the Fassifern Bombers a 34-14 defeat at Hayes Oval.
Livewire fullback Godfrey Okot again starred. The attacking ace collected two tries as his team overpowered the youthful Bombers in front of their home crowd.
The victory means Redbank Plains (35) is now equal with Swifts (35) in second. Brothers (38) opens up a buffer at the top and Goodna (33) sit fourth after enjoying the bye.
In weekend Reserve Grade matches, Brothers maintained their dominant standing with a 34-6 win over Swifts. Norths downed West End 30-20 and Fassifern outclassed Redbank 42-12.
State of Play
RLI A-Grade: Redbank 34 (Godfrey Okot 2, Adrian Elder, Mark Lauano, Samuel Dixon, John Leota tries; Cyrus Leota 5 goals) def Fassifern 14 (Matthew Sledge, Brayden Mitchell, Boas Ruru tries; Jake Hooper goal); Brothers 32 def Swifts 30 (scorers unavailable).