It was a long time between drinks for Brayden Sharrock, but his first finals game in eight years is one he’d rather forget.
It has been eight years since Brothers played finals football and the prop was far from pleased with his own performance in the loss to Southcity on Saturday.
“I’ve don’t think I’ve played worst,” Sharrock said.
“I was extremely disappointed in my game on the weekend.
“Defensively I was very poor and I really struggled to get going.
“For a finals game I should have been up for it, but my aggression wasn’t there.
“It took me until the end to really get going, but I’m not going to sit here and dwell on it but just have to turn it around this weekend.”
He’s looking to hit back with a place in the grand final on the line.
Brothers haven’t been through to a Group Nine decider since back-to-back losses in 2007 and 2008.
It’s been that long Sharrock hardly recalls what finals football was like.
“I can’t really even remember it to be honest,” he said.
“Before that there was a big break too so in the time I’ve been playing for Brothers we’ve missed out on a lot more finals than we’ve played.
“I’ve been playing Brothers first grade since I was 15 and have played in maybe three or four finals games.
“It is pretty special, but I was disappointed on the weekend with my performance.
“I was pretty flat.”
Sharrock thought external factors hampered his performance but he’s looking to respond in the preliminary final at Equex Centre on Sunday.
Standing in their way is a Gundagai outfit coming off a big win and looking to qualify for their fourth straight grand final.
Both teams have tasted success against each other this season, and Sharrock is looking forward to his first crack at a number of former teammates this season.
“I haven’t played Gundagai as I missed them the first time when I was crook and the second time with a broken hand but it is always nice to play against some mates,” he said.
“Brock Dunn, Blake Dunn, Noa (Fotu) and Sebastion Cottam are all ex-Brothers players plus I know JC (James Curgenven) so I’m friends with a far few of them.
“You always fire up when you play against your friends as you don’t want them to get the better of you.”
He believes the equation is simple for the Brethren.
They have to turn up with the right mindset or risk dropping out of the premiership race.
“We had a good chat on Tuesday and we’re coming into it with no excuses,” Sharrock said.
“It is well known we’ve got injuries but Terry (Westblade) said it you’ve made your available you have to got to be 100 per cent.
“We have to turn up and do our thing.
“I didn’t see Gundagai but if we turn up like we did last weekend we will get flogged, it is as simple as that, but if control that ruck a little better, have a bit more enthusiasm then everything can change.
“It can all turn around in 80 minutes.”