IT was a real family affair at the Barraba Recreation Ground on Saturday when the Barraba Bulldogs beat Quirindi Grasshoppers 36-6 to win the Group 4 Second Division grand final.
Man of the match Joey Latham linked up a couple of times with brother Nigel, whilst the father-son centre pairing of Geoff and Luke White scored the first two tries.
For a lot of the game the three Mallise brothers made up half the Bulldogs pack and the big trio certainly left their mark on the game.
Older brother Tim was a powerhouse for the Dogs all game, making a ton of metres up the middle and crossing for a try.
Twins Zac and Jock were everywhere in defence and a constant threat running wide of the ruck, with Zac also crossing in the 36-6 victory.
The win was an early birthday present for the twins who will turn 20 next week after stepping up to the top grade for the first time this season to play with Tim.
The three boys see quite a bit of each other seeing they also work together.
“It has been great playing together all season for the first time,” Tim said.
“We shear together, we train together, we play together, and now we will drink together,” Zac said after the win.
Bulldogs captain coach Tim Coombes said it was great to have the three brothers, as well as the Lathams and the Whites in the side.
“This season the side has been like a big family,” Coombes said.
“We are all really close and these boys help that.”
“It is handy to have three big brothers in the side, and they have a bit of skill too.”
“The Mallise boys keep each other in check and out of trouble on and off the field.”
The trio admit that if you heard them at training you might not think they are related, but it is all forgotten after training or the whistle.
The premiership was extra special for older brother Tim who suspects he will know hang the boots up, after missing the grand final two years ago with a broken leg.
“He didn’t feel he was part of it that year because he didn’t play the finals, so it is great for Tim to do it this year, and with his brothers,” Coombes said.
To complete the family affair, sister Abby was best on field for the Bulldogs in the league tag grand final, whilst father, former president and Bulldogs life member Greg, watched with pride.