The much-anticipated Welsby Cup clash between Easts and Brothers didn’t disappoint with the Brethren achieving a hard-fought 28-17 victory at Jack Ross Oval in round 10 of Queensland Premier Rugby.
Easts were on a mission to maintain possession of the Cup after last year’s victory over Brothers and showed strong displays of attack from the onset, testing Brothers’ stellar defence.
Brothers demonstrated consistently strong team work, combining their skills to stop several Easts players just short of the line and gain more territory. Despite this, it was a frustrating first half for Brothers, with Dallan Murphy’s boot being the sole point’s provider as the Brethren were unable to break the tough Tigers defence.
Brothers coach Matt Kaye noted a need for improvement, “Even though it was great to get the win and it’s great that we’re still on the top of the table, we just need to keep improving every week and we’ll work on the holes that showed in our performance today.”
Australian Sevens player Shannon Walker proved to be an integral part of the Easts side, scoring the only try of the first half. His speed and effective attack made him a standout player in the game.
The pace picked up in the second half, with both teams putting more points on the board as the presentation of the much-coveted Welsby Cup loomed. Easts’ defence slightly weakened, conceding three tries in the second half. Coach Pat Richards acknowledged his team’s overall strong performance but also believes that improvement is needed, “I’m still confident as finals get closer but ultimately Brothers was the better side today and we can learn from the experience.”
Coach Kaye also has the finals in his sights, “I’m definitely confident going into the rest of the season but once again, improvement is a necessity in order to get to the finals.”
The presentation of the Welsby Cup to Brothers added to the buzzing atmosphere of the large home crowd, with Ladies Day coinciding with the encounter.
Brothers will move away from Crosby Park next week, being hosted by an ever-strengthening Wests side and Easts will play the Gold Coast Breakers.
Brothers 28 (Dallan Murphy, Luke Beauchamp 2 tries, Dallan Murphy 3 pen, 1 con) defeated Easts (Shannon Walker, Andrew Parker tries, Matt Brandon 1 pen, 2 con)
By Rebecca Thompson