Brothers secure third premiership
REIGNING premiers Brothers continued their dominance of the under-18s competition securing their third consecutive premiership.
The boys in blue trounced southern rivals Hervey Bay Seagulls in a tense Salter Oval encounter on Sunday after a late Phil Lindsay try set the final score at 20-10.
Coach Dean Akers said the three-premiership milestone had not come easy to his team with a long string of injuries throughout the season taking their toll.
“It wasn’t the easiest season for us so to see the boys get there in the end was extremely satisfying,” he said.
“The premiership didn’t come easy and the boys were made to put in hard and worked for it.”
Akers was assisted by former New Zealand international captain and NRL campaigner Sean Hoppe in the coaching duties and said the young team was made to work hard on the training paddock.
“We asked a lot from them but to their credit they gave it and it’s paid off for them,” Akers said.
Second rower Jake Chappel, lock Joe Trost and captain and five eighth Braydon Leahy now have two premierships to their name after campaigning with Brothers U-18s last year.
Akers said the expectations of supporters were a heavy burden for his team to carry as they made their finals berth.
“I wanted this, the club wanted this and the supporters wanted this,” he said.
“The hat trick is an important milestone for us so the stakes were very high for the guys and I’m proud of how they handled themselves under pressure.”
Many of this year’s campaigners will be called upon by the Brothers A-grade squad in next year’s Bundaberg rugby league competition but Akers believes there is still enough junior talent coming through the Brothers ranks to pave the way for a fourth straight win.
“We won’t be setting our sights any lower than another premiership,” he said.
“There’s some great young players starting to emerge in the side and they’re only going to improve with experience.”