Mighty battle tipped as Brothers bolster line-up
AFTER two impressive wins in the under 17 final series, Brothers Blue have their best chance yet of upstaging minor premiers Norths Blue.
However, coach Noel Attwood is expecting a mighty tussle in Saturday's 1.10pm grand final at the North Ipswich Reserve.
"We are yet to beat them,'' Attwood said preparing for the big match. "But we've never played our strongest side against them.
"This weekend will be the first time we've been at full strength.''
Confident in his team's ability, Attwood is treating the Tigers with respect. "They are such a good side. You really have to be on your game to beat them,'' he said.
"A few times we've had them rattled and had good leads on them but they are very Melbourne Stormish (play like the NRL minor premiers). That's how I see them anyway.''
After Brothers outclassed a struggling Springfield side 54-0 in the first week of finals, they backed up with a hard-fought 36-12 win over Goodna in last weekend's preliminary final.
That came after they finished the regular season in third place.
"We were pretty unlucky throughout the year with injuries and school football and everything like that,'' he said.
"We did it pretty tough.''
Having been involved with Brothers junior teams for the past four years, Attwood is thrilled with how this year's under 17 side has battled through a spate of injury and having players away to make the grand final.
"We are a very tight team,'' he said. "We all get along well. The boys love playing for each other.''
Attwood said a majority of the team had come through the Brothers club ranks together.
He said last weekend's win over Goodna was a positive sign for Brothers' big test today.
"We played pretty well,'' he said.
"Goodna are a great side. They are always going to be a good side.
"It's been great. Looking forward to it actually.
"This will be the first grand final for a lot of them.''
Attwood is being helped by assistant coach Jeremy Van Dyk. The pair shared a premiership success together 10 years ago when Attwood was coach and Van Dyk was captain of an under 18 side that won in Brisbane.
This year's Brothers Blue team is being captained by prop Chris Tanuvasa, backed up by co-captain Nick Moyer.