Father and son in engine room
By MITCHELL DALE
THREE years ago Jeff Burrows came out of rugby league retirement to play alongside son Matt. Jeff's sole purpose in dusting off the boots and pulling on a Coffs Harbour jersey was to play alongside Matt, but a busted shoulder meant they played just 10 minutes together in two years. And no, it wasn't Jeff's old bones telling him to stop playing, it was Matt who spent the two years on the sidelines. "I did my shoulder in the first 10 minutes of the first game in 2002 against Macksville and it ended up keeping me out for the whole season," Matt said. "Then at the final training session before the start of last season, I did it again on a tackling bag and had a reconstruction." But just because the one reason Jeff decided to return was sitting on the sidelines, he kept on playing regardless, making two grand finals with the Comets reserve grade side. Matt's luck on the injury front improved in 2004 and the 21-year-old played the full season with his old man in the Comets engine room. Tomorrow the pair will line up in the red, white and yellow as the Comets attempt to claim the reserve grade title from Port Macquarie. The pair share a strong bond off the field, having lived together by themselves since Matt was six and while they regard each other as 'just another team mate', both admitted to keeping half an eye on the other. "It has been great to play beside Matt," Jeff said. "He is just like the other team mates, but I probably look out for him a little bit more." Jeff reckons this will be his final season if the Comets claim the premiership tomorrow. "I will finish if we win, but that is probably it anyway," he said. "I got what I came back for, at least I will on Sunday." Both father and son are confident they will be drinking from the winners' mug on Sunday afternoon. "It was really frustrating being injured for so long, but it all looks good for this year," Matt said. "We've got a pretty awesome side, nearly our whole team, has played first grade this year."