The boys had met ARKs twice this season and been beaten on both occasions however the belief within the team was high as they prepared to take on their nemesis once again. Right from the outset it was clear the Brothers were up for it, defending with an intensity not seen before within this group.
They were flying off the line and throwing themselves into every collision as they drove ARKs backwards, gaining meters without the ball. ARKs continued to pressure the Brothers line and the weight of possession soon paid dividends and were rewarded with a try to take the early lead 5 nil. Our boys
bounced back quickly with a brilliant team try finished off by Kaes Rewati, Noah Smalley converted to put the Brothers up 7 to 5. ARKs soon hit back with another try regaining the lead at half time 10 to 7.
The 2nd half started of where the first half left off with both teams throwing everything at each other. Brothers changed up their tactics with some creative grubbers through the rush defence which was paying dividends in turning the big ARKs midfielders around. ARKs scored again through some good work from
their mid field and pushed further into the lead 17 to 7 however the Brothers weren’t letting this go without giving it their all. With the lineout working like a well-oiled machine - 15 year olds have never been launched so high, Brothers were getting well onto the front foot and were rewarded with another great
try to Tom Crofts, Noah Smalley converted and the Brothers were back 17 to 14 and within striking distance closing the margin to only 3 points.
The scrum battle was intense, despite conceding several kg, honours were even in that department. We launched attacks down the wing next to the hill and the crowd went wild, we launched again and again and they kept cheering us on. The coaches lost their voices from the sidelines - several times. Some bodies buckled
and the bench rushed forth into the fray, everyone contributing to a herculean effort. The sun shone and the play disappeared into the far corner. We scored, but then the ref pulled us back 5m for a scrum. We kept tackling and tackling and tackling - their gargantuan centres were felled time and time again - no change for
the full duration - exhilarating and exhausting (that's just for the spectators). Every eye was drawn to the scorecard clock as we were one score away from victory and camped on their line.
Time slowed, we were 5m out, the ball came out, there was an overlap, victory was within our grasp - and then a long arm reached out in the tackle and dislodged the pill, it spilled forwards, the whistle went and we were three points shy! Heartbreaking for men sized boys with hearts like lions and hot tears flowing.
Legs collapsed and bodies sank to the turf in disappointment. Then we rose, some hauled up by teammates, some by gracious and generous ARKS players. Chins were raised and we were, and always will be, Brothers - Joondalup Brothers - proud of the jersey, proud of the season, proud of our coaches, proud of our parents, proud
of each other - WHO ARE WE? BROTHERS! - WHO ARE WE? BROTHERS! - WHO ARE WE? BROTHERS! - BROTHERS on 3 - 1,2,3 BROTHERS!
The final game of the 2020 season for the U18's was to be between Joondalup and Rockingham and followed the 2019 season where the Brothers managed to over turn their fierce rivals Rockingham with a 10 - 7 win, due to COVID a different format for finals with only the top two going forward into finals which was already a great achievement, the game was to be hosted at UWA on a glorious afternoon with a 13:50 kick off, the Brothers coaching team had prepared the brothers well but now it was in the hands of these young fellas to play their final 2020 game!.
The game kicked off on schedule and it was evident that the atmosphere was quite somber and the Brothers were very quiet, Rockingham had the speedster on the wing and used him well and like a flash it was half time and the Brothers were 13 - 0 down. The second half kicked off with pretty much the same flavour of the first half as the Brothers just didn't seemed to have got into their stride, another try from Rocky and the scoreboard was displaying 20 - 0 with 10 minutes remaining, it looked all lost for the Brothers but then a glimmer of hope with a try from Ryan Mcgloin,
a penalty followed which reduced the lead to 20 - 8 although time was running out, then the forwards started upping the game and a try from Hoggy bringing the score line to 20 - 13, minutes now remained on the clock but the Brothers didn't give up running into the last minute with another try from the forwards and the captain Duncan bringin the scoreline to 20 - 18 with the conversion to come, Kobi stepped up for the difficult kick which he floated effortlessly between the posts to the level the scoreline 20 - 20 at full time! Extra time of 5 minutes each way was now the requirement
and the first 5 minutes Rocky managed to get the ball out to Ollie the flying winger to increase the scoreline to 27 - 20, to be fair Rocky then persisted to close the game down and were the deserved winners for 2020 with the scoreline 27 -20, a great return effort from the brother which looked like an impossible return but what a great spectacle!
Watch 18's Game Here