West End Bulldogs see off Brothers
WEST End moved alongside Brothers into equal third on the IRL A-grade ladder following their 36-20 win at Basin Pocket on Saturday.
It was the Bulldogs' third straight win, providing evidence they may have finally learnt the magical formula to close out matches that has been missing for so long.
West End led 18-10 at half-time.
But when Brothers scored the opening two tries of the second half it looked like they might finish over the top of the home side.
But West End dug deep. The Bulldogs look more like a semi-final side every week.
The three successive wins have coincided with the arrival of former Brothers and Goodna enforcer Liu Faamate.
"There's a good buzz around the club at the moment," the second-rower said.
"Against Fassifern we went alright. Then against Swifts we were getting better and last night (Saturday) was a lot better.
"The team effort was there.
"Everyone is working for each other. It was really pleasing to see at the end of the game everyone looking at each other."
Faamate also took pleasure in handing defeat to one of his former clubs.
Faamate's late start to the season came about because he was considering giving the game away.
Aged 34 and with a first child, Kaylani, born last September, it seemed a good tie to hang up the well-worn boots.
"I wasn't going to play," he said.
"But the boys kept bugging me."
Faamate has been jokingly referred to as the team's lucky charm, but there is no doubt his experience and bone jarring defence have helped make the Bulldogs a more complete outfit.
West End's winning streak has coincided with a three match losing streak for the Brethren, who retain third spot ahead of the Bulldogs only on a better points scored for and against differential
Faamate said the win was built on the dominance of the West End forwards, with prop Christmas Fuivailili the standout.
"We laid a platform and let the fancy backs do the rest," Faamate said.