Norths cruising in third gear but need to find consistency according to rookie coach

Sitting second on the ladder with just two losses to his side’s name in 2019, you’d think 30-year old Norths coach Nick Hensley would be pretty happy about things at North Sydney Oval at the halfway point of the season.

But according to the rookie coach, the Shoreman have been far too inconsistent so far this year. 

“We’ve had a promising start to the year but it hasn’t been outstanding,” he told Rugby News this week. 

“At times, we’ve executed exactly as planned but then at other times we’ve gone away from that. 

“It’s not our capability, it’s our consistency that’s the issue,”

A lack of consistency was fairly evident last weekend, when Norths handed Southern Districts a 21 point lead at North Sydney Oval, then turned things around in the second half and escaped with a 35-28 victory. 

“We’re probably not where we’d like to be on the ladder at this point, but we’re where we need to be,” the coach said. 

“We’ve managed to find a way to win at times this year, even when we’ve played poorly and I think that’s a positive.”

Hensley singled out Harry Burey and Connor Vest as his side’s most consistent performers so far this year and said he was excited to see what some of his other forwards produced in the back end of the season. 

“Hugh Sinclair has also been great when has hasn’t been at the Waratahs. Nick Palmer is beginning to hit top gear as well after a long injury period, so I think he’ll be very important for us in the second half of the season.”

The Shoreman will be further boosted by the return of Will Miller, Andrew Tuala and potentially Cam Clark at the end of the Super Rugby season and will like their chances of finishing at the pointy end of the ladder and securing a double chance in the playoffs. 

“It’s probably a common response, but we need to be consistent in our execution heading towards the finals.

“We can’t be worrying about other teams if we don’t have our house in order. 

In saying that, I’m really comfortable with the playing group we’ve got and their capability. If the coaches and staff can get them firing consistently then I think they’ll be very competitive.”

Norths begin their run towards the finals when they host Easts at North Sydney Oval on Saturday.