Brothers have suffered their first loss of the season, going down 34-19 in their grand final rematch against Sunnybank.
Although Brothers aimed to redeem themselves after last year’s disappointing loss to Sunnybank, the Dragons proved from the opening minutes that they were a force to be reckoned with.
Sunnybank held much possession in the first ten minutes but Brothers refused to concede any tries, demonstrating stellar defence on the try line.
Following a knock-on from Sunnybank, Brothers was awarded a scrum and after a characteristic run from Brothers’ Damon Murphy, Brothers were finally able to have some game time in the oppositions’ half.
Shortly after this, Brothers captain Dallan Murphy suffered a nose break which resulted in a missed penalty kick. Murphy showed strength by swiftly shaking off his injury and rejoining his team mates.
Some points were finally added to the board, with Sunnybank scoring a great try after an effective run. Dion Taumata’s unsuccessful conversion brought the score to 5-0. Vowing to maintain their revenge-seeking mindset, Brothers’ Dylan Taikato-Simpson scored a try, levelling the score just minutes before half time.
After an intercept by Charlie Freney, Brothers looked set to score again but a slight fumble before the try line resulted in a missed opportunity and a Sunnybank scrum. Determined to add more points to the board, Brothers was able to capitalise on a failed intercept by Sunnybank, leading to Dylan Taikato-Simpson’s second try of the match.
Dallan Murphy’s successful conversion resulted in a comfortable 12-5 lead just before half time. Sunnybank managed to maintain the pressure over their rivals, with a successful penalty kick from Dion Taumata which narrowed Brother’s winning margin to 12-8.
A fumble on the try line from Sunnybank at the start of the second half was cause for Brothers to breathe a sigh of relief but the Dragons were determined to breathe more fire on the Brethren.
There were many near-tries for Sunnybank and a lucky regain of possession for Brothers enabled them to gain more ground after a kick from Nathanuel Gendle and escape from danger territory.
Damon Murphy was able to gain more ground by making another break but Brothers were unable to properly capitalise on this good opportunity and Sunnybank’s good defence ensured that they didn’t cross the try line.
Minutes later, a snatch and run from Sunnybank’s Samuel Mellor brought the score to 13-12 in Sunnybank’s favour. This was too close for comfort for Sunnybank supporters and players alike and a brilliant running try from Rex Tapuai followed by Dion Taumata’s conversion consolidated Sunnybank’s lead.
Sunnybank’s dream run continued with another try being scored, achieving both a bonus point and a 27-12 lead.
Brothers refused to give up, with a try going to Charlie Freney after an effective regaining of the ball. Dallan Murphy’s successful conversion brought the score to 27-19 with ten minutes to go.
Sunnybank proved that they truly were a force to be reckoned with within the competition, scoring and converting another try just minutes before full time. This confirmed the end to Brothers’ undefeated run and a noticeable boost in morale was seen in the Sunnybank side.
Queensland Reds player and Sunnybank Assistant Coach Adam Wallace-Harrison believes that confidence has been restored in his side,
“We’ve always known that we’ve had the team to do it and we’ve had some upsetting losses but winning against Brothers has certainly given us that boost we needed.”
Brothers coach Matt Kaye was clearly disappointed by the loss but is looking to move forward,
“Next week’s another challenge and I thought that our preparation before this was good but teams turn up on the day and Sunnybank got the result.”
Brothers have their third home game in a row next week, playing the Gold Coast. Sunnybank are back at home next week and will be playing against Norths.
By Rebecca Thompson
Article from www.qru.com.au