Brothers earnt themselves a spot in the 2019 Hospital Challenge Cup Grand Final, defeating GPS in a nail-biting clash 48 points to 40.
After trailing 21-19 at half-time, the Brethren rallied in the second half and showed their attacking class to outplay the Gallopers for the first time in 2019.
“We just had to stay in the fight, we were just on the right end of the final whistle,” said Brothers captain Tom Moloney.
“A lot of effort went into that for the full 80 minutes which was good, it’s a good start for the finals campaign.
“GPS have got a few old heads so if they can get on top of you early it’s a tough battle. Today they struck early but we knew we had to keep fighting and keep going at them. That’s what kept us in the game and maybe a bit of youth got us over in the end.”
The Gallopers opened the scoring in the fourth-minute, putting some important points on the scoreboard early when Maile Ngauamo scored off the back of a Jeeps line-out.
Brothers were quick to react, showcasing their patience and offloading ability to score through Fraser McReight, but they were then unable to stop one of the fastest players in Premier Rugby, Josh Collins, who dashed away from 60-metres out for GPS’ second try.
In a try-for-try effort, the Brethren were next to score with Harry Wilson charging down a kick in 26th minute.
Some brilliant vision from Jordan Lenac then found the space for his team to dissect Brothers’ defensive line, with support play from Michael Richards and Mitch King putting Bernard Nickel over in the far-right corner.
With just seconds remaining before half time, the two sides packed one last scrum five metres out from the GPS line. Brothers released the ball quickly to find Lawson Creighton, who drove his way over line to bring the half time score to 21-19.
In a try scoring frenzy, both sides scored twice in the opening ten-minutes of the second-half, with Creighton and Matt Faessler scoring for the Brethren and Josh Collins and Bryce Hegarty for Jeeps.
A pick-and drive-from Wilson in the corner saw him collect the double and extended Brothers’ lead with 15 minutes remaining in the major semi-final.
Trailing by 13-points (48-35) in the 79th minute, prop Fred Burke crossed for the Gallopers but it was too-little-too-late as the minor premiers held on for an eight-point victory.
The win sees Brothers stamp their ticket to the Grand Final, while GPS will play UQ next week to qualify for the big dance.
Major Semi Final
Brothers 48 (H Wilson L Creighton 2 tries F McReight M Faessler B Kapa tries R Saifoloi pen 5 cons) def GPS 40 (J Collins 2 ties M Ngauamo B Nickel B Hegarty F Burke tries B Hegarty 5 cons)