Brothers win to hold fifth

Connor McCauley scored in Brothers win over Tumut on Sunday.
Connor McCauley scored in Brothers win over Tumut on Sunday.

Brothers put in their best performance of the season to remain entrenched in the Group Nine top five.

Seven days after moving around Albury and into fifth place, the Wagga club proved far too strong for fourth-placed Tumut at Twickenham on Sunday.

Getting off to a perfect start, the Brothers went out to a big lead before the Blues responded late.

Coach Terry Westblade didn’t think the 36-20 scoreline was a true indication of their dominance in the hills.

“The scoreline flattered them as I had took four players, including Pete Little off at the end,” Westblade said.

“They got three tries at the end, and full credit to them for keeping on going, but we were quite comfortable there."

Little led the way once more, while Will Merritt and Brayden Sharrock were strong up front against the big Tumut pack, but Westblade was thrilled with the entire team’s performance.

They scored two tries in the first eight minutes, courtesy of Zac Wilson and Harold Kirby, before the Blues got one back when a Dean Bristow kick saw Brayden Draber score wide out.

Tries to Ed Ansell and Lachlan Harper handed Brothers a 22-4 lead at half-time.

Connor McCauley quickly extended their lead shortly after a break before a penalty goal from Kirby made it 30-4.

That’s when Westblade started to make some changes.

The Blues took advantage with Jacob Toppin, Tamati Ioane and Thomas Jeffrey crossing for tries.

However Edan Price scored an intercept try right on the bell to end the game on a positive note for Brothers.

Despite the three late tries, Westblade was convinced it was Brothers best performance since he took over as coach.

“The first half was really well controlled, they were really committed and I was proud of their efforts,” he said.

“There defence was wonderful (too).

“It was probably the best performance I’ve seen from them.

“I don't think many people expected us to win so from that perspective is great.”

Brothers hadn’t had a win over a top five team all year, but after two straight are hanging onto a finals position with four rounds to play.

However with the Thunder having the bye and both Temora and Kangaroos winning over the weekend there is still only a one-point buffer.

Brothers tackle last placed Cootamundra at Equex Centre on Sunday and Westblade is determined to keep the pressure on before games against Young (away), Kangaroos (home) and Southcity (away) to end the season.

“We are getting to where we want to be and that’s great,” he said.