They’re often mistaken for twins and, growing up, Wests livewire Tony Pellow often wished he and brother Colby were – it might have made things a bit easier in the backyard.
In reality, the four-year age gap was readily apparent.
“There were never any easy game in the backyard, he never went easy on me,” Tony says.
“We’d always end up in a fight, we’re two competitive boys. I’ve always looked up to him though. He sort of played the father figure role in my life, he’s always looked after me and taken me under his wing.”
For his part, Colby’s quick to agree.
“I’ve got four years on him, I had to show him who the bigger fella was,” he says.
As fierce as those stoushes were, they’ve always played their best footy as a package deal. It certainly proved the case in 2015 at Dubbo Cyms, with the pair claiming a premiership in their first year together in the top grade.
They’ll be looking to do the same with the Devils against Thirroul in Sunday’s Illawarra League grand final at WIN Stadium.
“We’ve played together our whole life so we both know how the other plays and we play our best footy when we’re together,” Colby said.
“We’ve played most of our first grade footy together, we won a premiership back home in Dubbo our first year, so we know how special it is. He was barely 18 I was 22 so we were pretty young.
“You can’t describe the feeling. We’ve been there and lived it before so we know how special it is and that we’ve got to rise for a big game on Sunday. Hopefully we can lift the trophy together again.”
Tony’s recollections are just as fond, with his season with Cyms enough to earn the NYC deal with the Dragons that brought him to Wollongong.
“It was the best day of my life I reckon,” he said.
“I’d just moved home from boarding school and went straight into first grade as an 18-year-old with Colby and all our best mates.
“It was similar to this year, the fun I had then is same I’ve had here, so hopefully we can get the job done.”
It was the chance to again taste that feeling that brought them to Parrish Park this season where they’ve emerged as coach Pete McLeod’s most potent attacking punch, combining for 21 tries.
Not bad given they had a fight on their hands to even grab a first grade spot at club not short on back-line depth.
“I said to Colby before we came it wasn’t going to be easy, Pete was pretty open about the fact no one was guaranteed a spot on first grade,” Tony said.
“Everyone knew the depth that was at the club so we knew it was going to be tough but it was a challenge we set each other.
“You don’t play footy to lose, I’m competitive Colby’s competitive and we set a goal at the start of the year that we wanted to come here and play finals.
“Neither of us have played finals for three years so we really pushed hard for it. You know finals footy’s another level and we wanted to be there among the best players in the comp.”