For Paddy and Sullivan Haycock, battling for the same position is nothing new.
They’ve been fighting for the ball almost their entire lives in backyard games and even sometimes in matches inside, much to their parents’ frustrations at times.
The pair both play hooker and have both spent time in the starting lineup of the Dubbo CYMS under 18s side this year.
On Sunday, they will feature for the Fishies in the grand final game against the Forbes Magpies.
– Keep up to date with all the local rugby league news here
“It’s always intense. At home there’s always a bit of fighting,” Sullivan, the younger of the pair, laughs.
“But then again we’re playing for the same team and we want the same result. We don’t really care and when we get to be on the same field at the same time then it’s even better.”
“It gets pretty competitive,” Paddy agrees.
“Especially with him being the younger one. You need to keep him out but he’s had me there a few times this year.
“But he’s right, when we’re both out there it’s pretty good and we know each other’s style and we can work off each other.”
After missing a chunk of time early in the season through injury, Paddy has developed into a key figure for the Bernard Wilson-coached 18s outfit.
His versatility has also come into play more, often shifting to the back row when his younger brother comes off the pine.
“I’ve been going in a few different positions and doing a few different things so I’ve had to become a bit more flexible but it doesn’t bother me too much,” he said.
“There’s a few of us who are a bit older who lead the younger fellas around and it’s going well.”
Rather than be upset with dropping back to the bench after wearing the number nine jersey for a portion of the season, Sullivan has used it as another learning experience.
“I was run on for a bit and now I’ve been coming off the bench but it’s great being the younger age,” he said.
“You learn a heap, I’ve learned so much this year and it’s always good playing with your brother. We’ve been mucking around forever.”
While there’s plenty of good vibes between the brothers and the side itself, everyone in green and white knows how big a challenge Sunday’s game will be.
Forbes has undoubtedly been the standout side this year, the only blemish on its record being a 28-all draw with CYMS back in round three.
But the fact CYMS, and in particular the hugely talented five-eighth Matt Burton, are playing their best footy at the right time provides some confidence.
“They (Forbes) very big up front, they’re strong and there’s a few rep players in the side who are very good footballers,” Paddy said, before Sullivan stated what’s needed to win.
“We’ve just got to work in the middle. We’ve got to be strong there so we can let people like ‘Burto’ play their game,” he said.
“We’ve got to play the whole 60 minutes without backing off.”
Kick-off is 1.15pm.