QLD GPS: 2019 Ipswich Grammar GPS Season Preview
Ipswich Grammar are typically happy to claim the underdog tag heading into each GPS season, but coach Kieran Moffat seems confident that his side will be able to hold their own in 2019.
Just a handful of players will return from the 2018 campaign, but Moffat said he is optimistic with his side’s chances, starting this weekend against Brisbane State High.
Overview with Kieran Moffat:
“We started back in Term 4 last year so it’s been a long preparation for us. Out in Ipswich, we don’t have as many numbers as the other schools in Brisbane so we like to take a bit longer to get the boys ready for the season,” Moffat said.
“We usually have around 45-50 boys in our program and we start in the gym but also with our content very early.
“We had an Easter camp, which was a bit of a tough grind and we try to get as many kilometres into the legs as we can. We played a number of trials throughout Term 2 and have just came back from a camp in Northern NSW which was fantastic.
“Our trial form has been a little up and down. I try not to look too much into our trial form as it is not always the best indicator for success when it comes to the GPS season. At times we have played some really good rugby but we have also had things put in perspective with some losses against the big schools such as TSS.
In training, everything can look clean and sharp but then you come up against some of those class outfits and it put things into perspective.
“Overall though I think it’s been positive. We’ve played a number of trials now and it always helps to get as much rugby into the boys as possible.” The boys and coaching staff are looking forward to the season beginning after a long pre-season.
“We’ve got probably four or five returning from last year, so it’s a new squad and with new structures implemented
“From our 50 man squad, we’re down to a 25 man squad now and I’m confident that every one of those boys can compete at 1st XV level.
““They’re a tough bunch of kids though and they won’t die wondering. Both of our camps physically and mentally tested the boys but we have come together really well which I think is a real positive for this season.”
Key areas of improvement:
“Probably just around the technical side of the game. We’re always a fairly skillful, naturally talented group but at times we can lack some finesse in some of the technical aspects of Rugby.
“Like all teams, we have lots of key areas for improvement and we will assess these on a week to week basis. Some key areas we have tried to focus on include our One on one tackles, our work at the breakdown and our set piece. It’s GPS rugby and you’ve got to be strong in those areas.”
Hopes and expectations for the season:
“I think we’d be silly if we were aiming for anything less than to win this competition. Regardless of what has happened in the past, I don’t think any school would be going into this year if they didn’t believe that they could win the competition.
“We will just focus on each match as it comes, and will try to prepare to play our best footy each week”
Bold prediction for 2019:
“It’s a tough one. You’ve got the three powerhouses in Nudgee, TSS and BBC. They’re the benchmark but it’s schoolboy rugby and it comes down to who turns up each Saturday.
“We hold very high hopes but we also know what’s in front of us and we know what we need to do to beat those class outfits.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a competition where a side goes through undefeated. I think there will be a few upsets and it won’t be decided until late in the year.”