TRIBES TO FIGHT: Past Brothers and The Waves have proud history Past Brothers and The Waves have proud history in BRL
LEAGUE: They are the biggest sporting clubs in Bundaberg and both are ready to take centre stage today at Salter Oval.
But Bundaberg Rugby League A-grade grand finals between The Waves and Brothers are rare.
Their clash today is just the fifth in the history of the BRL dating back all the way to 1913.
The Waves, called the Wanderers before, have played Brothers in the 1965, 1990, 1998 and 2002 decider.
The first two as Wanderers, which were wins, and the last two as The Waves, which Brothers won.
And one person who is involved in today’s final has been involved in three of them.
The Waves Rugby League president Ash Simpson will be involved as an assistant manager to the side.
He was also involved in a playing capacity in three others: 1990, 1998 and 2002.
Simpson played for Wanderers in their success in 1990 before moving to Brothers in 1995 after playing in Brisbane.
He then won in 1998 and 2002 with the Brethren.
“It’s great playing in grand finals,” he said.
“But I obviously want The Waves to win today.”
Simpson has fond memories of all the wins but 1998 stands out.
Brothers won that contest 14-12 but only after a torrential downpour in the first half of the game.
“We actually played one half in the dry and then we got 80 to 100mm of rain at half time,” he said.
“We had an extended break and then ran back on with an inch of water underneath us.”
The 1990 decider also holds a special place for Simpson as it was his first full season of playing in the BRL A-grade.
“Brothers beat us all year and played and won the Group One final as well,” Simpson said.
“They were odds-on and a fantastic chance to win.
“But I’ll never forget the day and what we did to win.
“Our coach Russell Heritage instilled hard work and effort to make sure we played well.”
Simpson won 2002 as a captain with his Brothers teammates lifting him up in the team photo with the shield after the 32-12 win.
The win is the biggest out of the four contests so far with Wanderers winning 17-7 in 1965.
Simpson said his advice to those playing today would be to embrace the game.
“Everything has been done physically so all you need to do is mentally prepare,” he said.
“It’s cliche but you really need to give 100 per cent.
The Waves and Brothers play at 6.30pm tonight.