Rose blossoms as Gundagai bury Brothers

The Tigers might have been on the road in round one of the Group 9 competition, but the visiting side had all the momentum when taking on Brothers at McDonalds Park on Saturday.

New recruits Nathan Rose and Latrell Siegwalt both shone in the big win, with Rose landing a treble of tries, while Siegwalt crossed for a meat pie as Gundagai ran out 42-16 winners. 

The Tigers started quickly after dominating the middle third, as Jake Elphick, Luke Berkey and Joel Field consistently found their fronts, which led to back-to-back penalties against Brothers. 

Gundagai took advantage of the good field position, with James Luff burrowing over from close range to score under the post. 

Luff converted his try and Gundagai led 6-nil after five minutes. 

The Tigers were relentless in the middle, with back rowers Royce Tout and Tyron Gorman joining in; the latter of the two splitting the defence and sprinting towards the try line before passing back to Latrell Siegwalt, who was able to cross for his first try in the Black and Gold colours. 

Luff again converted from in front and Tigers led 12-nil after 10 minutes. 

Gundagai were making a mockery of the Wagga side’s defence in the early stages of the contest, and in their very next set, a Derek Hay bomb was caught by a leaping Nathan Rose, who was able to cross to the right of the sticks, scoring a sensational try.  

Luff kept his perfect record in-tact, slotting a third conversion, and the Tigers were up 18-nil after 12 minutes. 

Brothers had a chance to score shortly afterwards, but James Morgan comically spilt the ball over the line, allowing Gundagai off the hook.

The Tigers were scoring at a point a minute and following a penalty and a good run by Jake Elphick, Rose received the ball on the left edge, and he split two forwards, muscling his way over to the left of the posts.

Luff again converted and the Black and Golds led 24-nil after 24 minutes. 

The Wagga side then scored against the run of play, following a penalty and error, with James Morgan making up for his earlier error when crossing on the right edge. 

Edan Price missed the conversion, and Gundagai led 24-4 after 29 minutes.  

Brothers could have scored again, but Gundagai did well to hold out back-to-back sets, before working the ball up field via some exciting passages of play.

Luff then secured a first-half double, with the enigmatic hooker again burrowing over from close range, and following his fifth conversion of the half, Gundagai led 30-4 at half time. 

Nothing changed as the second half resumed, and in the Tigers first set of six, Rose sliced through Brothers’ weak defence to score, meaning the talented playmaker had secured a treble in his first game for Gundagai.

Luff slotted the conversion and the visitors led 36-4 after 43 minutes. 

Brothers did turn the tide for a good chunk in the second half, with the home side digging deep to control possession in the Tigers half. 

Joel Field left the field with an undisclosed injury at the 48-minute mark, while Afa Collins was huge for Gundagai, with the big man playing big minutes, and he was effective in both attack and defence.

For 20 minutes, Brothers were arguably the better side, but in a good sign of things to come, Gundagai held them out for five consecutive sets, which included two forced dropouts. 

The Wagga side did break through after 65 minutes, with a 70m play ending with Cade Price scoring an entertaining try to the left of the posts. 

Edan Price hit the post and missed the conversion, with Brothers trailing 36-8 after 67 minutes. 

Gundagai took Berkrey, Rose and Collins from the field, allowing young gun Corey Wilson to move from the wing to fullback, while Zac Fairall and debutant Braith Crane both came on and played key roles in the remaining 15 minutes. 

Brothers did score again via Edan Price, who missed his own conversion when again hitting the post, and Gundagai were ahead 42-12 after the 72 minutes. 

Two youngsters combined for Gundagai’s next points, with Wilson chipping for Jack Elphick, who leapt high to make a good catch, before scoring to the left of the posts. 

Luff slotted the hardest of his conversion all day, with the Tigers now ahead 42-12 after 77 minutes.

Brothers landed a consolation try via James Morgan in the final minute of play, and Price hit the post again with his conversion, with Gundagai leaving 42-16 winners after an interesting 80 minutes of play. 

There were some really good signs for Gundagai, with Nathan Rose and James Luff arguably sharing the honours for best on ground, while Afa Collins, Luke Berkrey and Jake Elphick played effective minutes in the middle.

The result puts the exclamation mark on a great start for Gundagai, who now have the bye in round two before their big round three match-up against Tumut in round three. 

Brothers on the other hand have a task at hand following their loss, with an away trip against Brothers on the cards in round two of the Group 9 competition. 

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