KOOTINGAL’S bearded warrior Grayson Bradbury has certainly been leaving an impression on the Group 4 Second Division competition this year.
Or at least his shoulder has.
Bradbury has been putting on some huge hits in every game and has become an integral part of the Roosters pack that is leading the way in the competition this year.
Kootingal’s 44-4 win over Boggabri on Sunday was by far its best performance of the season so far, and keeps the Roosters sharing the top of the table after round five, unbeaten, along with premiers Barraba.
Bradbury was a thorn in the side of Boggy on the weekend, knocking them over in defence and also making plenty of metres down the middle to help set up the nine tries the Roosters put on.
He was also a huge force in Manilla in round three where he earned the ref’s two points, before backing that up in a tough game against Dungowan a fortnight ago.
The fiery red beard is hard to miss running around the field and that is exactly the way Bradbury likes it.
“I have got no step about me,” Bradbury said.
“So I just run straight and hard and try to hit ’em hard.”
Captain-coach Nathan Hamlin heads up the Kooty pack and said that the front rower had been a revelation this year.
“He has been putting some massive hits on,” Hamlin said.
“He gets done a bit for shoulder-charging, but they hit the beard first.”
Bradbury was plagued by a knee injury in his first year back in the game for five years last season but has been in full fitness this year and impressive on the field and at training.
“His commitment and attitude at training is great and he is doing everything right,” Hamlin said.
The beard has co-incided with his good form this season.
“It is a new beard this year and I do get a bit of extra power from it,” Bradbury said.
The team needed a new beard after Bradbury’s brother Josh retired from the side last year and, with him, his red chin fleece.
The prop believes that Kooty has the team to go all the way this year.
“We play a good hard game with a good pack,” Bradbury said.
“Hopefully we can keep this roll going to the finals.”
The Roosters will have the bye this weekend, before playing two tough home games in a row.
They will play Werris Creek next week before the clash that everyone is waiting for when the Barraba Bulldogs make the trip.