NSW CAS: 2019 Knox CAS Season Preview
An experienced Knox squad kick started their 2019 CAS campaign with impressive trial wins over Joeys and Shore.
While they fell short against Scots on the weekend, coach Tai Glassie likes what he has seen so far this year ahead of what he expects to be the tightest CAS competition in recent memory.
Overview with Tai Glassie:
“We’re quite happy with how things have gone so far this year. We set a few goals that we’ve tried to focus on and so far things look to be on track,” Knox coach Tai Glassie said.
“We spent most of the off season just trying to nail the basics in our game and learn to do it under pressure and I think we’ve seen the benefits of that in some of our games already.
“The biggest difference for us this year is our leadership group. We’ve got some very strong leaders, who are not just leaders in the rugby program but also leaders in the school. We’ve got school captains, vice captains and prefects all within our squad and that makes my job easy.
“All of our trial games so far have been competitive. We’ve taken something away from every game we’ve played in and that’s helped us to continue to develop our game, both as individuals and as a team.
“It’s always a positive to beat GPS schools and you can’t take it for granted so we enjoyed it but then quickly moved on.
I really think the CAS competition has picked up over the past few years. Back in the day, there were always dominant teams within most age groups, but at the moment and especially this year, it looks really competitive. It’s going to be a great challenge.
“We’ve got a few boys returning from last year’s squad and they’ve been great leaders within the group.
“Then we’ve had a few surprises and a few boys worked really hard, then put their hands up in the internal trials earlier this year. It’s been great to see some of those guys develop their game and it’s going to be great to keep working with them.
“The beauty of that is it’s created competition within the group and it’s helped us build depth across the squad.”
Key areas of improvement:
“The mental side of things is really important. We need to make sure that we control the things that we can control. We also want the players to focus solely on their job and not worry about anyone else,” the coach said.
“Every match this year is going to be tough, so we need to make sure that we play to our plan each week and if we can do that, then I think the results will take care of themselves.”
Hopes and expectations for the season:
“Obviously you want to perform well and win. But more than that and I know it’s a cliche, but we want to help build some really great young men who want to continue to play the sport.
“Then we want to give back to the Knox community so that the rugby program is in a better place at the end of the year than it was at the start.
“Everyone wants to win the CAS competition, but that’s only part of our goal and while we’ve got this group with so many great leaders, I think it’s important that we give back to the Knox community as much as we can.”
Bold prediction for 2019:
“That’s a tough one because I think every side will be dangerous this year,” he said.
“When you look across the CAS competition, Waverley did some great things over in Japan, Trinity were competitive last year and have a lot of players coming back, Cranbrook and Aloys have both been strong in this year group and Barker is Barker, they’re always going to be right up there.
“It’s going to be tough and whoever does win this year will deserve it because in the years I’ve been here, this is probably one of the most competitive comps I’ve seen.”