2018 QLD Premier Rugby Review: Souths

Souths head coach Elia Tuqiri was happy with the effort of his first grade sider in 2018 but says they have to hone their decision making under pressure to be able to head deeper into the finals in 2019.

The Magpies finished fourth at the end of the home and away series of games and were bounced out of the finals by Easts but with a strong set piece and a desire to play good open footy they may well be heading places.

Here’s what coach Tuqiri, who worked with Mick Heenan in this year’s NRC, had to say about their 2018 season:

With hindsight, how do you look back on the season?
It was a much improved performance from 2017. I was  pleased with the effort of the squad all season and making the Top Four was testament to the hard work the boys put in. As  a group we were all disappointed we couldn’t advance to the final round but overall I was pleased with the improvement in all aspects of our game.

You started the season well, what can you put that down to? 
I thought we started the season pretty well with only a couple of losses. There was an emphasis by the playing group to spend less time on the deck and play running rugby which I thought  put a lot stress of opposition defence especially in the first round.

Was there a match or two that defined your season? 
The loss to Uni in the final round before the semi-finals hurt our confidence. We felt good and were confidant going into that game after having a solid win against Sunnybank the week before. I really believe  momentum is important going into finals

What did you do well this year?
I thought our set piece was pretty dominant for most of the season. This allowed our backs to get front foot ball and play a fast game.

What didn’t you do well this year? 
Play 80 minutes consistently. In a few games we let teams back in after getting out to commanding leads.

Overall, how did the club fare this season in all grades etc? 
We made finals in seven teams. Two teams were minor premiers and we picked up one major premiers (Fourth Grade defeated Brothers 19-5 in the grand final) so overall pretty good

Standout players:
Jack Farrell, Tautalatasi Tasi and Emori Waqavulagi

Which non contracted player deserves to play at a higher level? 
Tautalatasi Tasi.

What does your club need to do between now and round one next year? 
We need to continue to work hard in all areas but being able to make better decisions under pressure will be a  key focus of what we do in all our preparations.

Bold prediction for 2019:
Brothers will be the big improvers for 2019.

Played: 16
Won: 9
Drawn: 1
Lost: 6
Bonus points: 8 (equal second)
Points differential: +103 (third)
Finished: Fourth
Finals in 2018: L 25-17 v Easts (minor semi).

Image: Brendan Hertel / QRU MEDIA

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