Gladstone Brothers and Rockhampton Brothers players after their annual pre-season trial, in which they play for the Denis White/Paul Smith Cup.
Gladstone Brothers and Rockhampton Brothers players after their annual pre-season trial, in which they play for the Denis White/Paul Smith Cup.

Two late tries decide CQ’s battle of the Brethren

Gladstone Brothers are celebrating after lifting the Denis White/Paul Smith Cup for the first time.

They scored a 22-20 win over their Rockhampton namesake in their annual pre-season clash, played at Rockhampton’s Victoria Park on Saturday night.

A post on the club’s Facebook page described it as one of the “proudest moments for Gladstone Brothers”.

It was made all the more special given that Paul Smith, after whom the trophy is named, was there to witness it.

The stage was set for an epic second half after the teams were locked at 4-all at the break.

Rockhampton Brothers were first to break the deadlock and at one stage led by 10 before Gladstone scored two late tries to claim the win and the coveted trophy.

Rockhampton Brothers coach Scott Munns said it was good to be playing footy again after the Rockhampton Rugby League competition was cancelled last year due to COVID.

“We’ve all missed it and it was good to be back last night, doing what we do,” he said.

“It was a good game, and it was a chance to run out a few different combinations and see some of our new players for the first time.

“Gladstone Brothers played really well. They stuck it to us early and got us on the back foot a little bit.

“I was happy with our defence; I think they scored four tries and three of them came off kicks.”

Munns said front rower Roarke Christensen and second rower Lachlan Campbell were two of the team’s best.

He also made special mention of teenager Damien Hepburn, who shone at hooker in his first game for the club.

Brothers will play two more trials – against Bluff this weekend and Clermont on March 6 - before the 2021 season starts on March 13.

Brothers have the bye in the first round.

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