Hervey Bay Seagulls player David Beach and Brothers Bulldogs player Andrew Hatfield contest the bounce at Faircloth Oval.
Hervey Bay Seagulls player David Beach and Brothers Bulldogs player Andrew Hatfield contest the bounce at Faircloth Oval. Max Fleet

Brothers defy the odds

AN understaffed Brothers gave Bay Power a home ground touch-up in what was a clear sign the Bulldogs still have plenty left in the tank as finals approach.

With five key players relegated to the sidelines with injury, the 18.17.125 – 9.7.61 defeat was a boon for coach Wayne Ling.

“We were down considerably on numbers so it's to the credit of the guys that they played to the standard of football that they did,” he said.

“They got out there and got stuck into it and came away with a good win.”

Centre Rob Searle, ruck rover Justin Sheehan, rovers Dale Harvey and Mitch Sartori, centre halfback Chris Heaslip and halfbank flank Scott Anderson were absent from the clash due to injuries.

“There was no doubt we were under-manned but that's football and we just had to get on with the game,” he said.

Ling said the injuries had forced remaining players to pull together and had given younger and less-experienced footballers a chance to spread their wings.

“There is quite a lot of depth which we've been able to draw upon which has been critical considering the amount of injuries we've had this season,” he said.

“There's some promising young footballers who are coming through the ranks which has been a massive help and is a promising sign for the future.”

Pleasing the coach was reserve grade player Nick Ciccone who stepped up into the senior side in the forward pocket.

Ciccone was a dominant force in the forwards booting three goals and keeping opponents in check with constant attacking pressure.

“He proved he can play football and, if he keeps training hard and working on it, he's going to be a considerable force,” Ling said.

Brothers were in control of the whole game, with Power struggling to penetrate a solid backline led by fullback Jamie Howden.

The Brothers midfield worked well ensuring a constant flow of football to the forwards.

Ling said a few wayward kicks limited what could have been a considerably larger deficit.

“I'm really happy with how the guys performed, but there were a few accuracy problems which we'll have to work on,” he said.

Ling expects the injured players to return to the side in time for the round 16 clash against Hervey Bay Bombers after a bye next weekend.

“We're hopeful we'll have all the guys back and be back at full-strength in the lead-up to finals,” he said.

“Once we get all the boys back I think the team will be looking pretty good.”



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