THE Whitsunday Brahmans stormed into outright second place over the weekend, thumping the highly fancied Mackay Brothers 36-14.
With a pre-game promise to play tough for each other, ringing in the players ears, the Brahman's unheralded pack took it to their more fancied rivals and totally dominated the forward exchanges.
With in-form half Craig Korn starting from the bench, the Brahmans hatched a perfectly executed game plan of starting an extra forward in the shape of the hard-hitting Joel Toohey.
The ensuing opening 20 minutes justified the Brahman's plan as the fired-up forwards ran riot, with hard running and hard hitting a feature of their play.
The scoring for the home team opened when clever hooker Matt Temby saw an opportunity to run the ball on the last tackle.
Faking to pass left and taking off to the right, he found an unmarked Trent Dally who only had to catch and pass for big prop Aja Roberts to score.
Not long after, the highly involved Temby was at it again. This time he scored himself, catching the Brothers goal-line defence wanting.
With the game turning into an arm wrestle leading into halftime, enter Brahmans winger Chris “Lightning” McEwan. He sent the crowd into a frenzy with an 80-metre intercept try. This put the Brahmans into the halftime break with a 20-6 lead. The second half saw Brothers stage an early fightback before the Brahmans hit back with runaway tries to fearless centre Grant Cooke and powerhouse prop Jack Burke.
Burke's effort was the try of the night. He gathered a chip kick above his head and then sprinted 60 metres to score untouched. That ignited the crowd and put the game to bed.
In a night where all 17 players stood up to be counted, captain-coach Trent Dally said the best was yet to come.
“Tonight was a great team performance,” he said.
“The boys' ability to stick to a game-plan is a major factor in our form at the moment.
“We might not be rated or respected by this comp but we don't care.
“We will just keep turning up every week and let our results speak for themselves”.
In the earlier game, an under-strength Brahmans reserve grade side showed just how far it had come with a rousing 56 -18 victory over second-placed Brothers.
With confidence sky-high in the squad and under-rated players such as Adam Smith and Adam Goodes leading the way upfront, the reserve-grade Brahmans are showing that it's not just the top grade putting on a show each week.
This Sunday will see the Brahmans return to the Whitsunday Sports Park for only the second time this year. They will face an in-form Sarina outfit desperate to turn the tables after going down to the Brahmans back in round one.
This day doubles as the sponsors' day, so a bumper crowd is expected.
Main game 3pm; reserve grade match 1.30pm.
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