Tackling the hard yards one last time

ASK prop Doug Evans how many senior rugby league games he's played over 16 seasons and the reply is swift.

"Probably about 250," the tough Brothers forward says calmly.

But if the North Booval plasterer was asked to put a number on how many tackles and hit-ups he's made in that time, it would be fair to say he wouldn't have a clue.

That's not only because he's got an incredibly high work rate, but more so because he's not in the game for the individual accolades.

Evans, 34, laces on the boots for one last time at QLD Group Stadium tomorrow when overwhelming favourites Brothers face the rampant South Burnett Bushrangers in the Ipswich Rugby League grand final.

THE prospect of sharing a premiership with his younger team-mates is at the forefront of Evans' mind as he prepares for tomorrow's grand final.

"It would be great to win but it would just be good for the boys," the father of three said.

"They've put in so much effort."

After a stellar career that included stints with the Ipswich Jets, Easts Tigers, the Gold Coast Chargers and Swifts, Evans joined Brothers for the start of last season.

He tasted immediate success, with Brothers going on to beat Norths in the grand final.

Evans quickly formed a tight bond with his new team-mates.

As he reflects on his fantastic rugby league journey, Evans' biggest regret is that he didn't join the "professional" Brothers club much earlier.

The former Bremer High student gets a big kick out of playing alongside "gutsy" players like Brothers twins Tim and Ross Sauer.

"That's what I like about the whole side . . . they just have a go," he said.

"They're just a nice bunch of blokes. I've become good mates with a lot of them.

"It really reminds me of Easts. It's a club that's nice and professional."

Evans is clearly passionate about the Brothers club, but don't expect him to don the blue and white jersey again next season.

"I've enjoyed the last couple of years," he said.

"But this is definitely my last game."

He concedes his "body is gone".

"It takes me until Wednesday to get over the game," he quipped.

"I've hurt muscles I never knew I had."

After more than 250 games and with his best footy behind him, it's hardly surprising that the tenacious prop is finding the grind of week-to-week footy tougher than what it used to be.

If you work on the basis that he's made a standard 25 tackles and 15 hit-ups each match, that equates to 6250 tackles and 3750 charges into the opposition defensive line.

No wonder the big guy's ready to call it a day.

But don't for a second think he'll have nothing left in the tank when he takes the ball from the kick off in tomorrow's decider.

Evans is itching for the referee's opening whistle.

He reckons every player in the Brothers line-up needs to fire.

"We never underestimate South Burnett," he said.

"They always give us a good game."

Evans said tight marker defence would be the key to beating a skilful Bushrangers side that ambushed Goodna in last weekend's preliminary final.

Evans and fellow forwards Tyron Day and Anthony Fowler have transformed the once wobbly outfit into a premiership force.



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