2019 QLD GPS season review: Churchie
Reflecting on 2019, a slow start proved costly for Anglican Church Grammar School’s title hopes but considering the way the young side rallied head coach Dale Roberson had no second thoughts in labelling the fourth-finish a successful year.
In the first two rounds Churchie were handed 37-nil and 64-7 defeats by Brisbane Boys’ College and The Southport School, respectively, but they found some form in a draw with Brisbane Grammar School before hitting their straps.
Churchie won their next four games on the trot before being outclassed by a powerful Nudgee side to round out the year, but for a young side – a very young side – the experience could prove invaluable.
OVERVIEW WITH DALE ROBERSON
“It’s hitting the nail on the head to say we had a pretty good year but didn’t quite get the results we wanted,” Roberson said.
“Overall I’d definitely judge this season as a successful one, particularly after the start we had. It wasn’t the best of finishes to get blown out (62-nil) by Nudgee like that but it was probably one game too many for us, and I think maybe it gave us a true reflection of where we sat in the competition – mid-table.
“That was probably the best we could’ve done (after the start to the season), losing the first two games of the season was always going to make the ultimate goal of winning the GPS competition hard for us.
“Credit to the young side, they were able to bounce back and perform pretty well through most of the rest of the season, before coming up against a really strong Nudgee team, at Nudgee.
“Finishing where we did was a positive and so is knowing we have 10 to 12 players coming back next year, which will be a big benefit for us. We had four or five year 12s and they were mainly in our top performers, but hopefully with so many guys coming back with experience we’ll be a bit more consistent and more competitive with those top teams.”
WHO IS THE GRADUATING PLAYER TO WATCH?
“(No.8) Izi Sword made the Queensland White under-18 team and played last Sunday so he had a really good season to make that side, and then Ben Ryan, Aidan King did really well in their second year playing first XV too,” Roberson said.
“(Fullback) Luke Philp had a very good finish to the season after coming in before round five, (flanker) George Stoddart was judged the players’ player by his peers and definitely had a good season, Max Craig played virtually every minute at hooker as a year 10 which is a big accomplishment and I can only see him getting better and better.”
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN BETWEEN NOW AND ROUND ONE NEXT YEAR?
“We’re in the process of a bit of an internal review now to look at areas that can be improved, but also to reflect on what we did well,” Roberson explained.
“With those players returning we’ll be making sure they do everything they can to return in as best shape as they can, bearing in mind they’ll obviously be doing other sports as part of their co-curricular activities at the school.
“So we’ll just try to put everything in place to prepare as best we can.
BOLD PREDICTION FOR 2020
“Everyone wants to be there contending, and I’d like to think we can,” Roberson said.
“We’ve got, I think, eight guys playing for Queensland’s under-16 [sides] at the nationals and that’s good reward for those guys too, a lot of those guys will be in year 12 next year so it’ll be exciting to see how they go and it shows that hopefully the future’s in good hands.
“You never really know until you get into it though and we will know straight away because we start with Nudgee then BCC then TSS, so it’ll be a baptism of fire for sure and I think we’ll know how our season looks after those three games.”