Recent form irrelevant when Brothers and Goodna meet

FIERCE RIVALS: Goodna and Brothers prepare for another brutal encounter at Raceview on Sunday.
FIERCE RIVALS: Goodna and Brothers prepare for another brutal encounter at Raceview on Sunday. Sarah Harvey

WHEN Brothers and Goodna meet, recent form is usually irrelevant, such is the strength of their rivalry.

Recent results count for plenty, however, adding spice to Sunday's clash at Brother Seery Park.

Goodna is the only team Brothers have lost to this year.

That was in round 3 and the Eagles stamped themselves as the form team of the competition that day.

But since then it has been Brothers who have continued their upward trajectory, while Goodna stagnated, losing its next two matches.

"Hopefully we're better structured in defence," Goodna coach Shaun O'Loan said.

"That's what we've been doing mainly lately."

O'Loan attributed his team's post-Brothers slump to the physical demands of that match.

They bounced back to winning form last week against Norths and O'Loan expects another physical battle on Sunday.

"I think it always will be between Brothers and Goodna," he said. "Last time it took both sides a little time to get over it."

Goodna is without injured forwards David Solomona and Jason Lennox but there are no lack of willing replacements to call upon for the club with the greatest forward depth in the competition.

"Just hold them out," O'Loan said of the key to a Goodna win.

"Make them work for their points and make sure we work them so they have to tackle us."

For Brothers, the focus is on constant improvement.

"We trained pretty well this week," Brothers coach Mick Wilson said.

"We've been working on a few little things."

Each week the Brethren target one or two areas to improve on.

"Little things to stay on top of," Wilson said.

This week it has been their defensive line speed and the play-the-ball.

They are two areas that will be crucial if the Brethren are to stop the Goodna forward pack juggernaut.

"As long as we keep improving and do the little things right, we will keep getting better," Wilson said. "We tackled quite well (against Goodna last time) but silly handling errors cost us.

"So we need to complete our sets and go through the motions.

"We've just got to control the footy and their forwards.

"We've got to win the ruck

"If we do that, we're half a chance to winning."

Helping the home team is the return of halfback Jason Connors and forward Sione Piutau from injury.

Shane Gibson remains at fullback, having shifted there from the centres last week, with Troy Sharpe holding on to the number four three-quarter's jersey.

"I wouldn't say it's permanent," Wilson said of Gibson's stint at fullback in the absence of Shane Picker and Tim Sauer.

"He looks pretty good at fullback at the moment and he likes playing there. He can pick when to come into the backline and seems more comfortable with time to do things.

"And he's pretty good under the high ball.

"Sharpey is Mr Reliable. He fixes any holes wherever we put him and does the little things right."

If Brothers continue to do all the little things right, it will make Wilson happy, whoever gets the points on Sunday afternoon.

GAME DAY

Brothers v Goodna at Brother Seery Park Sunday (A grade 3pm, Reserve grade 1.30pm, Under 18s 12pm, Open Division 1 10.30am). Norths v Fassifern at Keith Sternberg Oval Sunday (A grade 3pm, Reserve grade 1.30pm). Swifts v West End at Llewellyn Motors Field Sunday (A grade 3pm, Reserve grade 12.30pm).

Under 18s: Norths v West End at Keith Sternberg Oval, Sunday at 12pm; Swifts v Lowood Tarampa at Llewellyn Motors Field Sunday at 12pm.



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