No ceiling for the Brethren in 2022 according to flanker Nick Cross

By Liam Cook

Brothers’ No.7 Nick Cross is confident his team will rise to the occasion ahead of a final round meeting with Sunnybank at Biggs Oval.

“Going into the last round we really want to keep playing a Brothers style of footy” Cross told Rugby News.

“Hopefully we go into the minor-semi with two wins behind us.”

The Brethren are currently placed fourth on the ladder and are poised for September action.

The ever-consistent Cross says Brothers’ season has been good, bad, and ugly.

 “We’ve had some really good wins and winning at Yoku Road against GPS for the first time in a very long time was obviously a highlight of the year.”

“We’ve also had some really tough defeats like the game at Easts, which was a really tough pill to swallow.”

Bond gave the boys from Crosby Park an almighty fright last Saturday after nearly snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

Brothers’ in-game fluctuation against the Bull Shark’s has epitomised their year, Cross believes.

“It was a bit of a heart attack at the end there.”

“I thought against Easts we put in a forty-minute performance and last week we put in a sixty-minute performance.”

Despite Sunnybank conceding an unheard of seventy-five-point defeat to UQ last weekend, Brothers know better than to get complacent.

After bungling a first half lead to Easts a fortnight ago, the Brethren are striving for greater in-game consistency.

“We know Sunnybank had a big loss on the weekend but we’re not going to take them lightly at all.”

“We’ll be looking to play for the full eighty minutes this week and when we’re ahead, stay ahead.”

Brothers’ No.7 is one round shy of completing his first full season in premier grade.

Cross believes his debut season form in the top grade has been mixed.

“I’m just trying to do my job in the team each week, not trying to overplay my hand.”

“The body’s definitely sore, it’s a step up in physicality.

“Last year I was playing a bit of premier grade and most games in reserve grade… this year I’ve sort of cemented my spot in the side.”

Returning representative players have bolstered what is a stacked Brothers’ line-up in recent weeks.

Mixing it with some of the best has been a learning experience for Cross, as well as a reunion of sorts.

“I went to school with ‘Wilso’ (Harry Wilson) and we haven’t played with each other since grade eight and he’s a close friend so it was very special to play alongside him.”

“James O’Connor is just such a figure in world rugby so to play alongside him was very special.

“He’s been great with his little comms around training and how he prepares for games is so professional so he’s been awesome.” 

With reinforcements arriving and young players like Cross rising to the level, it’s hard to see why Brothers can’t challenge the best come finals.

“I think we’ve really found what works for us and our brand of footy and we just need to stick to that for the full eighty minutes and I think we can definitely win this competition.”

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