By Les Muir

AFTER narrowly escaping serious eye damage a week ago, Brothers prop Brayden Sharrock is not about to let a torn calf muscle stop him from playing against Young on Sunday.

Sharrock had blood gushing down his face following an incident in the game against Cootamundra at McDonald’s Park last Sunday.

And the 28-year-old forward was so incensed by what he thought was a case of eye-gouging, Brothers lodged a complaint against a Bulldogs player.

The Match Review Committee subsequently ruled there was “insufficient evidence” to take any action, but Sharrock is unconvinced.

“It felt like my eye was going to pop out,” Sharrock said on Thursday.

“There are marks where the nails have scratched the eyelid.”

As tough as they come, Sharrock says a knock or two to the head can be part of the game, but maintains the eyes and “groin area” of a player are definitely off limits.

Reluctantly putting aside last weekend’s drama, Sharrock is determined to focus on Sunday’s critical clash with Young at Alfred Oval.

Striving to clinch fifth spot for the finals starting in August, Brothers will move a giant step closer if they can sink the third-placed Cherrypickers at their home base.

Coincidentally, Sharrock’s “bad” eye is not his main concern as he counts down to the vital third-last game of the home and away series.

“You wouldn’t believe, but I actually tore mu calf muscle from the kick-off (last Sunday),” he said.

“I’ve had physio – I had dry needling last night – and hopefully I’ll be right.

“I certainly don’t want to have a week off.”

For Sharrock, the emerging prospect of Brothers qualifying for the finals for the first time since 2010 is a massive incentive and inspiration.

“I’m excited,” he said.

“We’ve come a long way.”

Brothers had a miserable start to the season, but have stormed back into contention with four successive wins including victories over Temora (22-16), Albury (30-16), Tumut (36-20) and Cootamundra (52-15).

Sharrock is adamant a rigorous mid-season fitness regime has helped transform Brothers into a formidable unit capable of taking a shot at the title.

“It’s not a fluke that we are where we are,” he said.

The highly decorated front rower says the influence of dynamic Peter Little has underscored the team’s rise, but it also goes deeper.

 Sharrock highlights the impact Cade Price, Connor McCauley, James Hay and Aaron Wynne among others for carrying the Brethren this far.

Significantly, Sharrock intends to be around as the young guns at Brothers continue to develop and mature.

“I’d like to play for six or seven years,” he said.

As for the more immediate future, Sharrock knows what to expect from Young on Sunday.

“They’ve got decent front rowers and a good hooker,” he said.

“They’ll play it up the middle and we’ll have to try to step them.”


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