TOUGH SLOG: Kerry Keliher runs the ball for Gladstone Brothers against Rockhampton Brothers in a pre-season trial match on Saturday night.
TOUGH SLOG: Kerry Keliher runs the ball for Gladstone Brothers against Rockhampton Brothers in a pre-season trial match on Saturday night. Matt Taylor GLA030319SNRL

Brothers find positives after heavy defeat to Rocky rivals

RUGBY LEAGUE: It was a scoreline they'd rather forget but Gladstone Brothers coach Danny Blair is taking positives from the 52-0 loss to Rockhampton Brothers at the weekend.

The Rockhampton side proved they'll be a force once again in their local competition as they dismantled a Gladstone Brothers outfit featuring a mix of A-Grade and reserve players.

Played over four quarters, Blair said Rockhampton Brothers gained further momentum during the second half but saw enough to suggest his side could turn things around come Round 1.

"Where they really got us was around the ruck and a lot of their tries were from a quick play-the-ball running over from dummy half or one-off from dummy half 10m out from the line," Blair said.

"We were a bit lazy around marker and our ruck defence. In attack we had plenty of opportunity to get over the line but we just rushed our plays.

"We need to be more patient when we have those attacking opportunities.

"Tightening the ruck is something we can work on over the next couple of weeks before Round 1."

 

Tyrone Lockrey is tackled after kicking ball for Gladstone Brothers against Rockhampton Brothers.
Tyrone Lockrey is tackled after kicking ball for Gladstone Brothers against Rockhampton Brothers. Matt Taylor GLA030319SNRL

Despite the scoreline Blair was pleased with his side's resolve.

"The good things to come out of it was the way we stuck together as a side and that we blooded a lot of young players and they all stood up for us," he said.

"Come selection time we've got a lot of options we can run with now which we haven't had at the club for the past couple of years."

 

Trent Swann runs the ball for Gladstone Brothers against Rockhampton Brothers.
Trent Swann runs the ball for Gladstone Brothers against Rockhampton Brothers. Matt Taylor GLA030319SNRL

Saturday's trial was the final one for Gladstone Brothers before they kick off the Gladstone Rugby League season on March 16.

While the final draw is yet to be finalised, Blair said Brothers would likely play Tannum Seagulls at Marley Brown Oval featuring a side with plenty of new faces.

"Out of the team that won the local grand final last season we've probably lost half our team with people moving away for work or retiring," he said.

"We've got a mix of players from last year and young people coming through and we've got three players coming from Brisbane this week that we need to slot into the side as well.

"Apparently they've got a bit of talent behind them so I'm looking forward to seeing how they go.

"I'm confident we'll have a solid side come Round 1."