Premiers on the board in the BRL
LEAGUE: An injury to Past Brothers forward Brendon McKeown has soured a return to form for the defending premiers.
McKeown is expected to be out for some time after suffering a serious injury during the side's 30-16 win over Easts in A-grade in the Bundaberg Rugby League.
The forward went down with a knock in the 72nd minute and didn't move as medical staff and players rushed to his aid.
McKeown was taken from the field in an ambulance, which rushed him to Bundaberg Hospital with what was initially diagnosed as shoulder pain, according to Brothers captain Kevin Sherriff.
The NewsMail can reveal McKeown suffered a neck injury.
He should make a full recovery.
"He is still in a neck brace,” Brendon's mother, Michelle McKeown, said.
"He has torn ligaments in his neck - (he's) very lucky.”
The injury dampened a good performance by Brothers.
The side scored the last 18 points of the game after Easts led in the early stages of the second half.
A sin-bin to the Magpies with 12 minutes to go also aided Brothers.
"We probably played it very simple (in the first half), bit dumb at times trying to go through the middle,” Sherriff said.
"We had to adjust in the second half to try to spread the ball a little bit more and get it on their edge.”
The tactic worked, with Brothers half Joel Fagan influential as well.
Sherriff said the side would now focus on discipline ahead of next week's clash against The Waves.
For Easts, that was the reason why they lost this week.
"It really killed us tonight,” Easts captain Justyn Porter told the NewsMail.
"We (also) went down with three injuries and a couple of really bad ones.”
Porter said he wanted to see improved match fitness ahead of this week's match against Wests.