TOMORROW will be a big day for Leach brothers Bart and Rohan and by the end of the day one of them could be a premiership winner and the other still be in the hunt for a premiership.
Both have important assignments in their respective competitions, with Rohan and his St Albert’s team-mates chasing back to back New England premierships and Bart leading Pirates against Inverell in the Central North preliminary final.
They are the three-times defending champions but will have to overcome a Highlanders side intent on not wasting another opportunity to play in a grand final to even have a shot at collecting their fourth.
Bart is the elder of the two by five years and wore the Albies green and red himself before joining Pirates.
“We had a couple of good years while I was up there,” he said.
“We won the three years that I was up there.”
Last year Rohan was part of the Albies seconds side that won the premiership.
This year he’s made the step up to first grade and will pack down in the front row.
“It’s exciting,” Rohan said.
He has played grand finals every year of his three at uni – for a mixed return.
“I lost on the bell in my first year in first grade.
“Then last year we won on the bell,” he said.
“Hopefully it doesn’t go lose, win, lose.”
While he and Bart haven’t had the chance to play together, they have played against one another.
They had that opportunity earlier this year.
“He was playing for New England and I was playing for Pirates,” Bart said.
“It’s the first time we’ve played against each other.”
It was pretty hard to avoid contact, with Rohan packing at prop and Bart at hooker.
“It was interesting,” Bart said. “There was a little bit of banter in the scrums and a bit of face-rubbing.”
Not surprisingly, both reckoned they got one up on the other.
On the more serious side, Albies are undoubtedly underdogs heading in, having not beaten Baa Baas this
“We weren’t expecting to make the finals earlier on,” Rohan said.
“But a bit of hard work and a few good wins has got us there.”
They know though where they have to improve.
“Against Baa Baas we’ve got to be really strong around the rucks,” Leach said.
“They can get a bit of a rumble on.”
Once they do they’re hard to stop.
Pirates too know what they’ve got to do.
“We’ve got to go in with the same attitude as Gunnedah,” Bart said. “Be really hungry for it, and have a positive attitude.”
They also need to be wary of their opposition’s big forwards.
“We need to make sure of our defence against them and put them on the deck straight away,” he said.
Two weeks ago against Gunnedah they did that and they got the result they wanted.
“If we play like we did against Gunnedah no-one could beat us,” Leach said.
“But it’s a matter of putting it together.”