MATT Templeman will take his place in the second row for Brothers this weekend and is the first to acknowledge that not everyone will be happy about it.
The BRL representative of the year was sin-binned against Isis last week for a cheap shot on former Brothers star Lyal Darby.
His ejection delighted the Isis faithful, who were chanting “send him off” in unison from the stands.
But that was as far as the penalty went for Templeman, with no citing made by referee Brendan Forbes or Isis officials, meaning no judiciary hearing or possible match suspension.
“I know I was copping a bit (from the crowd),” Templeman said.
“It was probably not the smartest thing to do; I didn't think I made any contact with his head, but I guess it depends on who you ask.”
His captain came to his defence, saying the sin-binning was a fitting punishment for the crime.
“It may have looked bad from the stands; he came down hard, but he didn't make contact with the head,” Cameron Ricciardi said.
Ricciardi said a forfeit against Hervey Bay and a soft win against Isis hadn't provided them with a “tough footy lead-up”, but Templeman knows he is ready to muscle up.
“Finals are all about imposing your physicality and I have no doubt Easts will be bringing that intimidation factor with them.”
He pointed out Magpies captain AJ Evans and the rampaging Ricky Nagas as two men capable of dishing out some punishment of their own.
“They are seasoned campaigners and Easts have a very good finals footy team,” he said.
A premier with Brothers in 2004, Templeman knows his role has changed this time around.
“We've got a lot of confident young players in the squad and I've enjoyed playing that senior role a bit this season,” he said.
“I think we were quick to be written off, but now we're playing good footy and the team's got the belief we can do it.”
So they should be after a 62-6 shellacking of a listless Isis, but Easts are sure to pose a greater challenge.
“They got their general in Josh Garden, Matty Tanner and Waylon Eggmolesse; there are plenty of dangers there,” Templeman said.
Both teams' defence has shaped up well in the finals, but with points galore in the backlines, the final could provide either high-scoring entertainment or ground out, dogged league.
“I really don't know how it will play out to be honest, but I'll be sure to get amongst it, don't you worry,” Templeman said.
Read Saturday's NewsMail for the grand final line-ups and full wrap of the game.