Lindfield had tough odds against them when facing one of the most intimidating and skilled oppositions in the Barraclough cup; Brothers. Their recent form had been L-L-W.
Brothers looked as assertive as ever throughout their warm up, the teams’ absolute calm nature emanating confidence. Their recent performance said it all: W-W-W.
The game started hard and fast, both teams wanting to make quick impact on the game. Lindfield managed to apply pressure early, a penalty against Brother’s for offside leading to a 5-metre lineout. However, and indicative of the rest of the game for both teams, scrupulously tight defence saw the ball turned over in the Brother’s favour.
Both forward packs went hard, heavy contact defining the next few long minutes. Brothers outside centre, Greg Wade, and winger, Timoci Bavadra made constructive impact on the game testing the opposition’s defence consistently.
The Chatswood/Roseville Brother’s line outs were their Achilles heal in the early stages of the game, giving the ball back to Lindfield on almost every attempt.
Frustration became apparent in the Brother’s side with a string of penalties, ending with a full-arm penalty in front of the posts for Craig Thomas’ high tackle, meant Lindfield were the first side on the score sheet.
On restart, heavy impact running was played, yet still the defence for both teams held strong. Messy set play made it hard for both fly halves to string together any productive attack even though the referee seemed keen on flowing rugby.
Both teams were kicking in spite of the strong winds, which seemed an odd decision. Lindfield instigated the kicking, repetitively feeding the ball into the right corner, testing winger Timoci Bavadra who was having none of it.
Finally, in about the 20th minute of the first half, off static play Bavadra picked up the ball on the halfway line from a fumble, danced around one defender, then another and raced the cover defence to the try line for the first try of the day.
Relentless on restart, the Brother’s returned to Lindfield’s red-zone, consistently piling into the strong defence until blindside flanker, James Fitzgerald, crashed over the line.
With the score at 3-14 against them, Lindfield realised the importance of re-establishing some form of dominance over the game. They returned as fiery as ever, the Brother’s sloppy lineout paying dividends for Lindfield possession.
An absolute flash of brilliance was seen right on half time as the Lindfield centres, Adrew Geldens and Chris Browne formed a good counter-attack, returning a Brother’s clearance kick. A quick pop to fly-half, Robbie Bridge, put him in a gap big enough to squeeze through for a try under the posts.
Closing the half 14-10, the game was a close-knit thriller. But only one team’s halftime discussion sank into its players.
Using the wind that was now blowing in their favour, the Brother’s fullback was returning Lindfield’s kicking. A small fumble inside their own 22 put Lindfield in a sticky situation within only 2 minutes of the first half.
Off the scrum, a cheeky inside ball to Timoci Bavadra who had sneakily wrapped all the way around the scrum with lightening pace put him over the line for his second try of the day.
21-10 with points so early in the half and more messy ball, a small disagreement broke out in the middle of the field as frustration levels rose. Brother’s remained relentless in their attack, but Lindfield players Felix Buddee, Andrew Geldens and Chris Browne formed rock-solid line defence for as long as they could.
Lindfield had regathered and were looking to be a mighty force, pushing all the way up to the Brother’s 5-metre line. Quick forward movements and the occasional inside-back crash ball were being held by Brother’s flanker, Fitzgerald, and centre, Si Kearney, delivering punishing contact.
Brother’s managed to turn the ball over and send it back up the other end of the field with a well-placed clearance kick from fly-half Stu Raines.
A period of passive return developed as Lindfield returned the clearance and brought the fight into the Brother’s 22 once again. Felix Buddee, Cameron Smith and Chris Browne pulled together to maintain possession and apply force for an age.
Yet again, the Brother’s defence held strong, clearing the ball and following through with a try off endless forward phase-play to second rower, Ben Brook.
With a daunting score-line of 28-10, relentless defence and a newly established deep-kicking tactic, the Brother’s were dominating the game.
Strong forward running freed up the back-line for another connection between Wade and Bavadra, leading to the third try of the day for Bavadra.
On return, Lindfield seemed to be switched on again; really applying themselves in the forwards and full back Felix Buddee running strong lines. But it all seemed too little too late.
Exhaustion must have set in as the much larger Brother’s forward-pack destroyed the final scrum of the game, Lindfield crumbling under the weight.
The Brother’s number 8, Jone Tagivetaua, intercepted the ball 30 metres out and ascending the right wing for the last try of the game.
40-10 to Brother’s over Lindfield was the convincing score-line in a game that shows the absolute strength of Brothers; a force to be reckoned with in the Barraclough cup.