CRUNCH TIME: Michael Newman and Sam Keys make a tackle on a Townsville player during Saturday night’s Sam Faust Memorial game.
CRUNCH TIME: Michael Newman and Sam Keys make a tackle on a Townsville player during Saturday night’s Sam Faust Memorial game. Matthew Newton

Brahmans charging

LEAGUE

LES Stagg Oval returned to life on Saturday night, with hundreds flocking through the gates to get their first glimpse of local rugby league for the year.

Fans were treated to the Sam Faust Memorial match, which saw the Brahmans pitted against Centrals Townsville, with the former claiming a scrappy 22-4 win.

Whitsunday made the early running against the visitors, taking an 18-0 lead into half-time to set up a typically scratchy pre-season victory.

Sam Key, Ivan Petelo, Jhy Cockburn and Michael Newman each scored tries, while Shaun Bowen was the only player to cross for Centrals.

Although the Brahmans came away with the chocolates, coach Anthony Blackwood said there was plenty of work to be done.

"For probably 35 minutes of that game we were really good defensively but that one try was a soft one," he said.

"We've set the benchmark very high this year but that's not good enough. As a team we know we can't do that."

Blackwood said Centrals' slow start, while Brahmans piled on three tries, was simply a result of the drive from Townsville.

After the visitors found their groove it was anything but one-way traffic.

Earlier in the day a combined under-18s and reserves game saw Whitsunday victorious 42-20.

The night was a success, with a strong crowd packing Proserpine to pay tribute to Sam Faust - a past player of both clubs.

Blackwood praised the Brahmans' supporters and volunteers for producing an electric atmosphere on Saturday and both clubs are confident of making the Sam Faust Memorial an annual tradition.

Next week Whitsunday will be in action, taking on Souths Sharks in another pre-season encounter.

All three grades will get their chance on Saturday but the A-grade team in particularly is looking forward to squaring up with the best.

"It'll be good to have a crack against them and see where we are at… we're looking forward to it," Blackwood said.

SCOREBOARD

Brahmans 22 (Tries: Sam Key, Ivan Petelo, Jhy Cockburn and Michael Newman) def Centrals 4

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