Illawarra Mercury 6/9/2014
If history is anything to go by, Thirroul possess all the key ingredients to deliver the club’s ninth premiership on Sunday – namely a Grose, a Beath and a McCarthy.
With the exception of their 1954 flag, those three names – synonymous with the blue and whites – have featured in every premiership-winning line-up in the club’s history.
The trend will continue if the Butchers can edge out Helensburgh on Sunday with Brent Grose in the centres alongside brother-in-law and 276-game veteran Aaron Beath and Ty McCarthy on the wing.
Grose’s uncle Ian played alongside Beath’s father Aidan (captain-coach) and the club’s leading points scorer John McCarthy – Ty’s father – in the Butchers’s 1973 premiership-winning side.
The names have featured in every premiership-winning side since (1995, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2012) and Brent said the trio were keen to continue the trend this week.
“In ’73 we had uncle Ian playing in the grand final and I’ve had all my cousins and obviously my father [Dave] as well, so it goes a long way back,” Grose said.
“I’ve got a couple of boys coming through and they’re pretty keen as well, so hopefully it continues well into the future.”
Grose admitted the pull back to the family club was something he battled all through his stellar 199-game career in the NRL and English Super League.
“The first few years it was a bit of a battle for me, especially overseas,” Grose said.
“All I ever wanted to do growing up was play with my mates, so I had a few people who had to convince me to stay over there and push on with it, which I’m glad I did.
“But now I’ve got the chance to come back and play with Aaron, my brother-in-law and a few other really close mates, so it’s been great.”
Grose was part of the Butchers side that lost consecutive grand finals in 2009 and 2010 but was also there in 2012 when Thirroul won their last premiership.
Having been on the wrong side of a grand final result on two occasions, Grose is well aware of just how hungry Helensburgh will be following their heartbreaking loss in last year’s decider.
“We won one in ’12 and lost a couple before that, so I’ve been on both sides of it and it’s not real nice to lose them,” Grose said.
“I know the Burgh guys will be hurting from last year as we were in the past, so it all sets up for a really tough game.
“We spend a bit of time with them away from footy and went to school with a lot of them, so there’s a real rivalry there.”