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Gold Stars beat Brothers Ipswich in first BHP Premiership clash

The inaugural game of the BHP Premiership took place at Blue Ribbon Motors Field, home of Brothers Ipswich, with the North Queensland Gold Stars their first opponents.

The game saw a number of players with NRLW experience take part with Brothers having brilliant hooker Brittany Breayley in their side, as well as  centre Tanika Marshall who has representative experience with Fiji and Indigenous All Stars. The Gold Stars had quality halfback and captain Jenni-Sue Hoepper in their team.

 Jenni-Sue Hoepper leads the team out. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL
Jenni-Sue Hoepper leads the team out. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

The game started at a fast pace with the Gold Stars having the best of the opening stanza with two tries disallowed in the first five minutes due to being held up and spilling the ball over the line.

Brothers on the other hand only had the one opportunity to put points on the board early, but a spilled ball nullified their chances.

The home team however got another chance two minutes later and this time Marshall  crossed under the posts after a crossfield kick.

The conversion kick was missed from in front, with Brothers holding a 4-0 early lead 4 -0.

This lead would only last for four minutes however, with Gold Stars prop Riutoto Te Hiko charging onto a short ball and plunging in beside the posts.

Five minutes later, after another Brothers handling error, Gold Stars winger Lauren Moss showed a clean pair of heels to score out wide.

Both of the Gold Stars tries were converted taking them to a 12-4 lead after 19 minutes. 

The two tries could be put down to the great defence shown by the Gold Stars and this was none more evident then the huge shot put on by Deborah Barchard in the 22nd minute.  

The result of this big hit was field position and in the 23rd minute, hooker Emma Manzelmann burrowed over from dummy half, extending the lead to 14-4 after a successful conversation by Hoepper.  

Poor ball handling was killing any chances Brothers had of getting back into it in the first half leaving the halftime score 18-4 to the visitors.

 Jenni-Sue Hoepper. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL
Jenni-Sue Hoepper. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

The second half started how most of the first half was played with the Gold Stars getting better of field position with Brothers looking very disjointed in attack with their star playmaker Ali Brigginshaw watching on from the sidelines due to injury.

The Gold Stars kept piling on the pressure and looked to have scored on two occasions, but some strong Brothers defence repelled them both times.

Brothers were doing a lot of tackling and the wall eventually had to be breached and it came eight minutes into the half Manzelmann diving over for her second try. 

The try was converted by Levinia Robinson and the Gold Stars had raced to a 24-4 lead with 20 minutes remaining. 

The two teams then were guilty of some poor handing and the game died off a little in intensity as several players looked to drained their energy left with little left in the tank. 

Brothers were the only team to trouble the scorers with a consolation try late in the game through Rosanna Mauga. 

Kiriana Nukunuku converted the try and the fulltime score favored the visitors the NQ Gold Stars  24-10.

Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL
Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

Gold Stars coach Gavin Lloyd was happy with the performance of the side after having a disjointed preparation and believed the side would get better and fitter as the season progressed. 

Lloyd had strong praise for all of his forwards, but had special mention for lock Maggie Brosnan who played nearly the whole game and kicked a superb sideline conversation into the wind.   

Brothers coach Dean Daylight was happy with the performance of his side with several players playing at the top level for the first time.  

The game as a whole was a great spectacle and the good crowd would have went away excited with the quality of both teams.

Gold Stars face Burleigh Bears in Round 2.

Brothers will take on Central Queensland Capras.