QLD Premier Rugby: What Jeeps fans really think about Brothers
It’s one of Australian rugby’s biggest rivalries, as fierce as it is old and on Saturday the latest instalment may just be one of the best clashes we’ve seen yet.
Jeeps and Brothers don’t like each other, that much is fairly clear and when their two Premier Rugby sides meet at Yoku Road tomorrow afternoon, fireworks are almost guaranteed.
But why do the two clubs hate each other so much?
“I think most people in Brisbane would say that you could describe a Brothers player as someone who walks a fine line between arrogant and confident,” Jeeps old boy Liam Ferguson explains to Rugby News with a chuckle.
“To be fair, they’ve probably got good reason to be confident but more than that, they’re just ultra competitive and very proud of their club and its history.”
The problem is, Ferguson explains, Brothers fans probably describe the Gallopers in exactly the same way.
“It’s probably a bit rich for me to call others lippy, because I think there’d be some fingers pointed back at me, but they do like to talk,” he continued.
“I think though the real reason why the rivalry is so special is because both clubs are full of players, right throughout the grades that never move, so you end up playing the same blokes over a 5-10 year period.
“It’s two clubs where once you play there, you never think too much about leaving and I think at the end of the day, that’s what makes it so special.”
Ferguson spent more than a decade lining up for Jeeps against Brothers after making his debut in colts in 2003 and then in first grade a year later.
While most matches in his 13-year career were decided by a try or less, late in the match, he said he looks back on a few outliers rather fondly.
“In 2013, when we went on to the grand final, we played Brothers in the last game of the regular season and I think we won something like 49-3. It was at Brothers as well, so to do that to them at their home, it was pretty special. It didn’t happen very often,” Ferguson recalled.
“On the other side of that, I remember playing Brothers in a semi final at Ballymore. We were attacking their line for ages and then they took an intercept and ran 90 metres untouched to knock us out of the competition.
“That’s probably the worst memory I’ve got and it still hurts a bit thinking about it.”
Ferguson said he had no doubt that tomorrow’s clash would be fiery but the former forward admitted the game has changed a lot since some of the early matches that he played in.
“I remember playing Brothers at Brothers when I was probably 19 or 20,” he said.
“I was still pretty small for a forward back then, and one of the huge Brothers’ second rowers found me at the bottom of a ruck and punched me square in the face.
“I did my best to swing one back, then the touch judge told us to settle down and we both got on with the game.
“You’d probably miss a few weeks for that now.”
After starting the year with six straight wins, Brothers will take plenty of confidence into tomorrow’s clash against the defending premiers, who have somehow managed to fly a little under the radar this year, despite losing just one match in 2019 by a point.
“You’d have to say Brothers are the favourites. I know they’re missing their Australian U20s boys and I’ve heard outstanding reports about them, but I still think for the first time in the last few years, we’ll go in as the underdogs,” Ferguson said.
“Jeeps probably have a better forward pack, but then Brothers have a strong backline so I think their strengths almost cancel each other out.
“Brothers will try and match Jeeps up front and then swing the ball wide and Jeeps will need to try and shut down the Brothers backline and take them on up front.
“It’ll be interesting but I know there are a lot of people floating around Brisbane who are very excited about it and that’s great for rugby.”
GPS Old Boys Day kicks off at Yoku Road at 9:50am with fifth grade and colts on Saturday morning ahead of the Premier Rugby fixture at 3:20pm.