Norths need victory to break Brothers hoodoo
IF EVER Norths are going to beat Brothers, Sunday would seem a good opportunity.
They are at home and coming off hard-fought wins over Fassifern and Swifts, followed by a romp against West End, then the bye to freshen up.
But history is against them, with the Tigers only beating Brothers once in the past five years.
"That was round one last year and they gave it to us," Brothers captain Blake O'Loan said.
That game aside, O'Loan can't explain why Brothers have had such a hold over Norths.
"We just play our own game plan," he said.
"We play structured football and let them make mistakes."
O'Loan's opposite number nine on Sunday, Robbie Peters, acknowledged the hoodoo, but could not explain it.
"I honestly don't know," he said. "We've talked about it but can't put a finger on it.
"No matter how we're travelling we always seem to have our worst performance against them. I think it comes back to just putting in a full 80 minute effort."
O'Loan expects a difficult challenge on Sunday, with the Tigers' halves Steven West and Josh Roberts posing the major threat, given fullback Jarrod Biggs is absent due to work commitments.
Nathan Carney shifts from centre to fullback but Peters doesn't think the Tigers will lose much.
"Every time he's played there he's got players-players," Peters said. "He's very capable."
For Norths' attacking threats to prosper the home team's forwards will first have to match Brothers, which is no easy task.
"We've got a bigger pack this year so we've been working on getting a roll on and feeding off the back of that," O'Loan said.
"But we've still got to be careful. If they get a roll on they will be hard to stop."
With a week off last weekend for the Ipswich Cup, Brothers' focus at training has been defensive line-speed and communication.
"Our defence has been winning us games," O'Loan said.
"We want to make sure we don't lapse after the week off."
Peters just hopes Norths can recapture the form that took them to wins over Swifts and Fassifern last month.
"They were probably our two best games of the year," he said.
"Hopefully they played us into a bit of form."
A grade: Swifts v Goodna at Llewellyn Motors Field, Norths v Brothers at Keith Sternberg Oval, Fassifern v West End at Hayes Oval (all 3pm tomorrow).
Reserve grade: Swifts v Goodna at Llewellyn Motors Field, Norths v Brothers at Keith Sternberg Oval, Fassifern v West End at Hayes Oval (all 1.30pm tomorrow).
Under 18: Swifts v Goodna at Llewellyn Motors Field, 12pm tomorrow; Norths v Brothers at Keith Sternberg Oval, 12pm tomorrow; Fassifern v Lowood Tarampa at Hayes Oval, 12pm tomorrow.
Open Division 2: Norths v Karalee at Keith Sternberg Oval, 10.30am tomorrow.