Adventures of Sauer to take twist off the bench
TIM Sauer will sit on the bench when Brothers take on West End in tonight's Ipswich Rugby League match at Raceview.
But the 29-year-old fullback is just happy to be able to pull on the blue butcher's stripes of the Brethren again, whatever the grade or role asked of him.
Sauer made his return to the top grade in last week's 28-18 win over Fassifern.
It was 21 months ago, in a semi-final against Fassifern, that Sauer wrecked his shoulder, keeping him out of action for the whole of 2013.
He had to be content with running the water for the club last year.
He began this year in Reserve grade but got the call up to the top grade when Shane Gibson was forced out last week due to injury.
Gibson is back this week but Sauer did something right to retain a place on the bench.
"I did a fair bit more work," Sauer said of his return to A grade.
"I got my hands on the ball a bit more.
"The legs were a bit tired but it was good to get it out of the way."
Sauer admitted getting back into shape after such a long lay-off wasn't easy.
"Getting the miles into the legs was the hardest part," he said.
But he knows it was better than the alternative.
Sauer's twin brother Ross is also facing shoulder surgery.
Ross has said he is considering retirement, as he will be 31 by the time he is ready to return.
So for Tim, it was a matter of pushing through the pain to get fit.
"You don't get any younger," he said.
"If you don't do it in your 20s, it's harder to come back in your 30s."
It is why the club's long term, multiple premiership-winning A grade fullback is happy to perform whatever role is asked of him by coach Tyron Day.
"I'm happy enough to play wherever," he said.
"Hopefully I can play a few more A grade games.
"If not I'm happy to help out in Reserve grade."
While the fitness side of things might have taken some work, Sauer had few problems slotting back into the Brothers' game plan.
"Having Tyron play and coach means not too much has changed," Sauer said.
"Him and Dean (Daylight) have put their tweaks on everything. And (halfback) Jason Connors always has something up his sleeve.
"There's always new stuff but it's the same things basically we've done for the last 10 years."
Sauer was a West End junior but joined Brothers when he started in the senior ranks in 2001.
Since then he has played alongside Fili Notoa for hundreds of games, winning several grand finals together for Brothers.
So it will be strange coming up against him this evening as Notoa makes his debut for the Bulldogs.
Yet there is no animosity towards his former teammate.
"I don't think I've every played against him," Sauer said.
"It's good for him and the comp in general."