2018 QLD Premier Rugby Review: Bond University
It was a season of what could have been for Bond University.
Head coach Sean Hedger said they had a creaky start to their 2018 Hospitals Cup campaign but rattled home and rattled a few cages at the back end to the year.
One loss, a draw and eight wins from their final 10 games of the season is testament to the way that they came home with head-up, smart footy.
How they parlay 2018 into a successful 2019 but the basis is there for a side that should play finals footy in the coming season.
Here’s what head coach Hedger had to say about their season:
With hindsight, how do you look back on the season?
A huge missed opportunity after missing the finals by a couple of points. We beat every other team in the comp at least once, except for Souths who we drew with in Round Two. You know when the four teams who didn’t make the finals make comments like: “Geez we are glad you didn’t make it”, that says you have let an opportunity slip.
You didn’t start the season well, what can you put that down to?
Our home ground (at Bond University on the Gold Coast) was out of action until after Round Two due to the construction of our new clubhouse and grandstand. This was disruptive to preparations. We also changed a lot of our game systems in attack and defence. We had a completely new coaching staff and a large number of new players, all of these took a while to gel. But once we all started to clicked we proved to be quite a force, losing only one game and having a single draw in our last 10 matches.
Was there a match or two that defined your season?
It would have to be against GPS in Round Two at home at ‘The Canal’, where we got out to a lead of about 30 points at one stage. ‘Jeeps’ had the Smith brothers in the front row (both in the Queensland Reds Super Rugby squad and aggressive scrummagers) and we held them all day. We played adventurous footy moving the ball around and they couldn’t seem to adjust to the ball moving around a lot. GPS went on the win the Premiership, but we knew after that victory that everyone was taking notice of us.
What did you do well this year?
We moved the ball around well in attack, we had the ability to shift the point of attack at any time.
What didn’t you do well this year?
We didn’t start the year well.
Overall, how did the club fare this season in all grades etc?
Second Grade started the year well but fell away badly. Our Colts1 team underperformed, missing the finals but Colts2 made the grand final with a very young group of players.
Three really put their hands up – Daniel Boardman, Zac Moimoi and Will Slipper
Which non-contracted player deserves to play at a higher level?
Our scrum half Harry Nucifora
What does your club need to do between now and round one next year?
Retain all of our talented players and at the same time transition some talented Colts into the Senior Grades.
Bold prediction for 2019:
We’ll play finals rugby in the coming season.
THE 2018 SEASON IN STATS
Bonus Points: 6
Finish: Fifth (two points out of the top four)
Points differential: +34 (fifth place)