Brothers conquer Across The Waves
BROTHERS survived a second-half scare from Across The Waves to progress to week two of the semi-finals and a clash with the unpredictable Hervey Bay Seagulls.
Leading 28-0 at the break, Brothers were completely outplayed in the early stages of the second half, conceding 22 points in 15 minutes.
But the experienced side held its nerve, keeping possession and killing off a valiant last-gasp effort to run away 52-28 victors.
In typical never-say-die fashion, Waves came out firing in the second half and starved Brothers of the ball.
Countless bruising hit-ups from big man Bas Vaihu laid the platform for tries to Dave Zanette and Kenny Stewart (2), before Vaihu found himself in a gap and across the line to bring the underdogs within one converted try.
But four-pointers to Brothers backs Kalvan Rehbein, Tien Nguyen and Mat Templeman blew the score out to 46-22 in the blink of an eye and Waves hopes of an upset were crushed.
Earlier Brothers played some of their best football for the season, controlling the ball expertly and stifling any Waves' attempts to break their defensive line.
Brisbane recruit Christian Thompson was the beneficiary of their unrelenting pressure, crossing twice early in proceedings.
In-form fullback Nguyen set up the first of Templeman's tries, before Michael Wise also got on the score sheet.
It was a deadly 40 minute display and wasn't lost on Brothers' skipper Cameron Ricciardi.
“That was the best footy we've played all year,” he said. “Everyone was very happy with that.”
He was not so complimentary of their second-half performance, confirming that complacency had sneaked into their game.
“We hardly had the pill in the second half, but I think we all ran out thinking we had it won,” he said.
“If we can repeat the sort of footy we played in the first half we should find ourselves in a pretty good place.”
Their next opponents will be the Hervey Bay Seagulls, who went down 32-16 to Isis.
A season-ending injury to stand-out Seagull Clinton Horne has dented their hopes of a premiership, but Ricciardi was still not taking them lightly.
“He's just one bloke, even if he is a good player,” he said.
“We'll have our work cut out for us, but if we want to win it we have to beat everybody.”