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Posted 2/07/2015


BROTHERS failed to produce anything “pretty” for 80 minutes against Ivanhoes – and coach Chey Bird couldn’t be happier.

The Brethren reaffirmed their premiership aspirations on Saturday night with a wet and muddy 18-10 victory, turning the tables on a Knights side that got the spoils in round one.

Scoreless after 30 minutes, the forwards dominated at Stan Williams Park in a result that could have a big bearing on the top-five composition.

Bird has set his side some modest targets for the second half of the CDRL season: upping completion rates and earning the right to play attacking footy.

He liked what he saw as Brothers kept a greasy pill under control better than the visitors to plough through the boggy conditions and some determined opposition.

“With the conditions it was always going to be a forwards battle,” he said.

“It was just a good, old-fashioned game of footy where both sides rolled their sleeves up.

“It wasn’t a case of retribution but it was pleasing to get a good, tough win against a good-quality football side. As a general rule we need to increase our intensity (in the second half of the season).

“We just want to increase our completions because we have probably been playing too pretty before we have earned the right.

“That’s something that we have been a lot better at in recent weeks: getting into the grind and waiting for the game to naturally open up.”

In a sign of growing maturity across his star-studded roster, Bird hailed every member of his side.

“The pleasing thing was that I couldn’t single anyone out,” he said.

“It was a real team performance and 17 blokes put their hands up for 80 minutes.”

The win keeps Brothers in touch with Tully at the top, while Ivanhoes stay in an increasingly congested chasing pack.