Brothers claim Townsville & Districts A grade premiership

Brothers capped off their centenary year in fine style with an emphatic 42-10 win over arch rivals Herbert River Crushers to claim the Townsville and Districts Rugby League A grade premiership on Sunday at Townsville Sports Reserve.

In a dominant performance by Brothers, Daniel Pickering bagged a hat-trick, while Nathaniel Bowman, in his retirement year, finished with a perfect record of five grand final wins from as many appearances. 

Brothers came out of the blocks blazing when five-eighth Ty Carucci registered first points in the opening minutes of the decider.

Despite Brothers losing a player to the sin bin early in the game, Herbert River weren't able to capitalise.

Having a man down proved no disadvantage for Brothers when soon after Pickering scored in the 12th minute and put them out to a 12-0 lead.

While Herbert River had their chances and at times looked set to score, they were unable to convert them into points.

The points kept coming for Brothers in the half with tries to Bowman, Samsen O'Neill and captain Nathaniel Norford and a penalty kick by Bowman on the buzzer saw the lead blow out to 30-0 as they headed to the sheds.

In the second half, both teams couldn't find momentum in their attack, and Herbert River weren't able to break through Brothers defensive line.

After a second try by Pickering, Ben Spina looked set to open up scoring for Herbert River, but was denied by the referee who ruled a knock on. 

Soon after, Crushers hopes were dashed again when George Prior appeared to have dived over for a certain try in the corner, but lost control before the ball was grounded. 

With just over 15 minutes left in the game, Herbert River fans finally had something to celebrate when Duarne Dempsey found the line close to the sticks top open up their account.

The elation was short lived though, as Pickering plucked an intercept ball and sprinted 90 metres for his third try of the match.

Elizabeth Hodder from Mendi group who is the competition's A grade sponsor presented the Player of the Final award to Ty Carucci from Brothers.
Elizabeth Hodder from Mendi group who is the competition's A grade sponsor presented the Player of the Final award to Ty Carucci from Brothers.

Dylan Gaggiano scored a consolation try for the Crushers in the final minute of the match, but the dominant win by Brothers saw them claim the premiership trophy for the second time in three years.

Brothers coach Royston Baira, who was in the Brothers 2017 grand final winning team, and a player in multiple premierships said the win was massive for him as coach and the team but it was even more special in the club's centenary year.

He praised his players and said he couldn't be prouder.

"They gave their all and had nothing left in the tank. It's efforts like these in crucial games which reaps rewards and achieves positive results," Baira said.

Brothers captain Nathan Norford was presented with the premiership trophy by Elizabeth Hodder representing Mendi group who is the A grade sponsor.
Brothers captain Nathan Norford was presented with the premiership trophy by Elizabeth Hodder representing Mendi group who is the A grade sponsor.

Townsville and Districts Rugby League grand final results:

A Grade

Brothers 42 (tries: Daniel Pickering 3, Samsen O’Neill 1, Ty Carucci 1, Nathaniel Bowman 1, Nathan Norford 1, goals : Nathaniel Bowman 7) defeated Herbert River 10 (tries: Dylan Gaggiano 1,  Duarne Dempsey 1, goal: Dylan Gaggiano 1)

Player of the Final: Ty Carucci - Brothers

Reserve Grade

Centrals 22 (tries: Jeremy Laumea 2, Aidan McCollum 1, Quinton Pomare-Anderson 1, goals: Aidan McCollum 2, Cliff Beetham 1) defeated Brothers 12 (tries: Gresham Ross 1, Chris Pabai 1, Goals: Dominic Kitching 2)

Player of the Final: Jeremy Laumea - Centrals

Under 19

Centrals 20 (tries: Jeffrey Nelliman 1, Mason Clifford 1, Jacob Taia 1, goals: Jeffrey Neliman 2, Evanda Hewson 1, Ryan Kinsey 1) defeated Brothers 18 (tries: Mark Gardiner 1, Zack Lowe 1, Jake Hindom 1, goals: Hayden Rowbotham 3)

Player of the Final: Hayden Saltner - Centrals

Western Lions claimed the Townsville & District Women's premiership after a thrilling four point win over Brothers in the grand final. Photo: Townsville & Districts Rugby League Facebook page.
Western Lions claimed the Townsville & District Women's premiership after a thrilling four point win over Brothers in the grand final. Photo: Townsville & Districts Rugby League Facebook page.

Women's competition 

Western Lions 16 (tries: Sian Roberts 1, Paige Horvat 1, Katrena O’Dell 1, Goals: Samille Pagden 2) defeated Brothers 12 (tries: Samara Luta 2, Georgia Firth 1, Goals: Jenni-Sue Hoepper 1)

Player of the Final: Romy Teitzel - Western Lions

Main image: Brothers have claimed the Townsville & District Rugby League A grade premiership after defeating Herbert River in the grand final.