Brothers are building confidence they are set for a much more competitive season after a big trial win.
The Wagga side retained the David Mavroudis Memorial Shield with a 48-16 win over Coogee at Parramore Park on Saturday.
Brothers slipped to a narrow defeat in their first trial against Shellharbour the week earlier but co-coach James Hay was impressed with the improvement they showed.
"I think playing the week before helped a lot," Hay said.
"A good chunk of the boys had an extra game under their belt and having our full squad as well.
"We played a little bit better than I expected seeing as we've been pretty much doing defence and fitness for the last three months.
"To come out and put some points on in our first real trial makes me pretty happy."
Cade and Edan Price made an impact after missing the first trial while James Morgan continues to make a big impression on his return to the club.
Morgan was used at both fullback and centre against Shellharbour but was mainly at centre against the Dolphins.
"James Morgan had a really, really good game," Hay said. "He's going to be a really big asset this year.
Maleke Morris had a big game as well and is going to be a big asset while I've been really impressed with the Blackett boys (Bas and Fletcher). They're pretty mobile and tough through the middle."
Brothers looked to have come through the game unscathed.
Brothers are now looking for more improvements as they prepare for the start of the Group Nine season.
They have the tough task of taking on Gundagai in the opening game of the season on April 23.
"Gundagai had the Riverina spine, the one, six, seven and nine, so they are definitely going to be on the ball in round one so we'll definitely need to turn up," Hay said.
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Courtney is a sports journalist from The Daily Advertiser focusing on Group Nine, Southern Inland, cricket, harness racing and greyhound racing.
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