Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Brothers Win Dramatic Final; Reigning Champs Go Back-to-Back

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Brothers Win Dramatic Final; Reigning Champs Go Back-to-Back

Article excerpt

Byline: Pam McKay

RUGBY LEAGUE: Rockhampton Brothers have claimed back-to-back premierships after winning a drama-charged grand final on Saturday.

More than 1000 footy fans packed into Browne Park to watch minor premiers Yeppoon take on the reigning champions in a highly anticipated season decider.

But in what seems to have become a sporting curse, the team that finished as minor premiers and went into the final as the title favourite was beaten for a third year in a row.

Brothers started in blistering fashion, putting three tries on Yeppoon in the first 15 minutes, and went on to post a stunning 40-14 win.

Starting hooker Grant Rogers was brilliant, conjuring up attacking moves that had Yeppoon at sixes and sevens.

He had the Brethren on the front foot from the get-go, and opened the scoring just two minutes in.

His lion-hearted performance was epitomised perfectly in the dying minutes of the game when he latched on to an intercept and ran about 60m to set up his team's last try.

But the drama played out in an explosive first half with Yeppoon five-eighth Cody Grills sent off for the game after a melee erupted.

Three other players - another from Yeppoon and two from Brothers - were also sent off for 10 minutes.

Yeppoon coach Scott Minto was livid about the send-off, saying he knew the game was gone when that happened.

"Penalty after penalty after penalty and then a man sent off - how do you come back from that?

"It's pretty hard to take," he said post-match.

"I feel for the players more than anything and when the player came to me and said why he got sent off I just couldn't believe it.

"The reason was because he gave four penalties away in a row. He wasn't here to play (the referee said) and that was it.

"That's the sort of thing that kills you. You can't send someone off for something like that in a game that decides everyone's season."

Just minutes later, the game was brought to a lengthy halt after Brothers player C. …

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