On-target McNulty seals title
BROCK McNulty is not yet 18 and for that his teammates might be grateful.
They would all owe him plenty of drinks were he a year older.
The Brothers five-eighth landed a perfect five goals from five attempts to deliver his under-18 team its 30-28 grand final win against Norths yesterday.
It proved the difference with Norths scoring six tries to Brothers' five.
Down 24-12 midway through the second half, Norths looked set to surge to victory when they scored three tries in five minutes to hit the lead.
But with six minutes left, a tight head scrum win, of all things, to Brothers gave them possession that led to centre Shaye Lund crossing in the left-hand corner to level the scores.
It left McNulty to land perhaps the toughest kick of his life.
"I was very scared at the end," McNulty said.
"I knew I could either win it for the boys with the kick or I'd have to score from the next set."
But it is moments like these goal-kickers dream of. "You're always confident or you wouldn't be playing footy," McNulty said.
He was able to calm himself, go through his routine and nail it.
"As I approached to set up the ball, I thought about it," he said of the importance of the kick.
"But once I got it on the tee, I'm just thinking about hitting it well."
It was not the extent of McNulty's contribution to the win.
When his team conceded the lead with three quick tries, momentum was only flowing one way.
It was cool heads like the pivot's that got Brothers into a position to win the game.
"At that stage I was thinking 'just get involved as much as I can ... let's push through this because that's how Brothers do it'," he said.
Leadership played a role but McNulty said it was the team's tight bond that inspired the comeback.
"Mateship is a big one," he said.
"We've been together all year and had our ups and downs. Being close friends means the most."
McNulty paid credit to teammates Harley Fox (centre) and Jacob Lindsay (lock) for their whole-hearted efforts.
Fox was named man of the match.
When Norths scored in the first minute of the second half to reduce the margin to 18-12, it was Fox who was beaten for pace in defence.
But he showed his character soon after with a barnstorming run from 15m out, dragging several defenders with him to score.
Too young to celebrate with anything stronger than a soft drink, McNulty had already turned his mind to 2014 before he was off the playing field yesterday.
"I'm very, very hungry (for another title)," he said.
"I can't wait to hit the pre-season."