Brothers hang on in hectic day
IT WAS a weekend of high scores and high drama in the Ipswich Rugby League A-grade competition.
All three matches were decided by four points or fewer and an average of 64 points per game.
The highest scoring affair was Brothers' 40-38 win over Fassifern at Brother Seery Park.
It was a match that hung in the balance until the final whistle.
Fassifern has been the form team of the competition with big wins in the past two rounds and had reason to feel confident against an under-strength Brothers.
It was Brothers who started the game like they were on a winning streak however, leading 10-0 after five minutes.
But Fassifern, with their array of imports from around the south Pacific, stormed back into the game with some spectacular tries.
None more spectacular than the last one.
With five minutes remaining and Fassifern trailing by six points, centre Pipi Kilori looked like he was headed infield near halfway.
He then did a u-turn and linked with right winger Andro Kalbuki, who burnt the defence for pace then chipped past the fullback and grounded the ball to score.
The sideline conversion was short, giving Brothers the win.
It left Fassifern disappointed but no-one at the ground could say they weren't entertained.
"It was a hard game," Brothers captain and second-rower Jack Boettcher said.
"They've got heaps of good attacking players.
"We probably could have defended a bit better."
Boettcher praised Brothers interchange forward Jake Redman.
"His defence was pretty good as well," Boettcher said.
Redman is a top grade rookie and there were several on the park for the home team, who were missing the likes of halfback Cam Picker, forward Caine Kaleopa, Sam Krueger and Troy Sharpe.
It partly explains Brothers disorganisation in defence.
But Boettcher has warned the rookies in the team had to learn quickly what is required in A grade.
"Our challenge is just being consistent for 80 minutes," Boettcher said.
"We either start or finish well.
"We've got a lot of new players in the team.
"They have to learn that you have to perform for 80 minutes in A grade.
"You can't afford to go to sleep for periods."
This year's competition has proven that any team that does lapse is vulnerable.
"It's tough," Boettcher said.
"There's no easy games.
"Everyone is evenly matched.
"Whoever wants it more wins."
Brothers 40 def Fassifern 38
Norths 24 def West End 20
Swifts 36 def Goodna 34