2019 QLD Premier Rugby Season Review: GPS
By Finn Morton; Photo – Brendan Hertel/QRU Media
Jeeps came into the 2019 Premier Grade season carrying plenty of expectation after being crowned Australian Club Champions but fell short of back-to-back titles after losing to UQ in the preliminary final.
Injuries troubled the Gallopers all season and eventually played a part in their exit, but with a greater focus on the Colts and lower grades, Jeeps are confident that silverwear can return to Yoku Road in 2020.
Overview with Elwee Prinsloo:
“I thought teams all around the competition stepped up a level this season. Any team could beat any team on any given day. From a Jeeps point of view it’s hard to look past the disappointment of not making the final game but still plenty of positives around,” Prinsloo told me.
“We scored 79 tries which was our most since I’ve been here and we’ve conceded the least amount of points in the comp. We also topped the competition in areas that we really wanted to put our energy into such as offloads and set-piece which was pleasing to see some progress.
“Overall, a step in the right direction but our focus has to be on finishing the job next season.
“I reckon the same issues that all the other clubs face week in week out around player availability, injuries and managing a group of men playing for the love of the game whilst trying to drive a higher level of performance in speciality training to lead to better results in game.
“It’s work in progress but really investing in our Colts and lower grades in the offseason will certainly assist in our ability to better handle some of these challenges I reckon.
“Plenty of lessons learnt. I reckon the biggest is to finish the job in everything we do and to be more process drive at times. Converting opportunities when they arise is key but understanding how we deal with them and fix the ones we don’t is more important.
“We need to get more comfortable with being uncomfortable in the coming months as this would lead to better composure under pressure next season.”
Which non contracted player deserves to play at a higher level?
“Interesting question. I think a number of boys would cope with the demands of being a fulltime player if given the opportunity to train in a full-time program. Mitch King is one of the best football players I’ve ever coached. If he was given an opportunity earlier in his career I have no doubt he would play Super Rugby consistently now.
“Maile, Tuaina, Matty Gicquel and Michael Richards all have the ability to take that next step and Tommy Kibble will keep growing in the Reds program as well and will certainly be an asset to anyone of our Super Rugby franchises in the near future.”
What needs to happen at Jeeps between now and round one next year?
“We need to take some time off to get the bodies sorted. We had an in-depth team and club review so we are very clear on areas we need to improve.
“Come the off-season, we will get stuck into it and make sure we start 2020 with improved performances throughout the entire club. We want to be known as an uncompromising tough team so our training in the offseason will reflect this.”
Bold prediction for 2020:
“No idea how it’ll play out but I would not be around if I didn’t believe our group can win another Premiership.
“We have a feeling of unfinished business and I truly believe we have the players and the staff to achieve this if we knuckle down and do some work over the coming months.”