QLD GPS: Nudgee Coach Expecting Tough Challenge But Claims Players Are Ready for “Balanced” BBC Side
By Finn Morton; Photo – Stephen Tremain
Nudgee are preparing to face a red-hot BBC in front of a packed house at Ross Oval. Both sides go into Saturday’s match knowing that another loss would bring an end to their already unlikely title chances.
Nudgee and BBC have only lost one game each this season; both to the Southport School, which has left both schools playing catchup to a team one win away from an undefeated title.
Title or no title; it’s not the focus this week – at least that is according to Nudgee coach Andrew Scotney. When these two sides meet it’s always a fiery clash that tends to go down to the wire and he’s expecting nothing less on Saturday.
Also, with only two games between some of these players and their high school playing days being a thing of the past, this weekend will mean that much more.
“The boys are looking forward to it. BBC are a great team; playing some good football this year, so anytime the boys get to play a good side they’re up for it,” said Scotney.
“Half the boys who are in our team have never beaten BBC coming through the age groups so they’re looking to hopefully make amends there. This age group at BBC has been very strong all the way through.
“We can’t give them the ball so we need to win our set-piece and make our tackles. When they’ve got the ball, make sure we put pressure on their main ball carriers and attack the ruck.”
“They’ve got some wonderful players. Their centres are good players, and their number eight is a strong ball carrier, but they’re strong across the field.
“This is my fourth year, and BBC teams are traditionally strong, but this is probably the most balanced I’ve seen them in terms of having strong forwards and strong backs.
“I don’t think you can win a game starting out of the gates really quickly, but you can sometimes lose a game. If you give up early points and a few of them, so for us it’s always about starting the game well, then when the game settles down, just taking stock of where we’re at and just going from there.”
Both Nudgee and BBC are still in with a chance to join Southport as joint-champions in 2019, but only if they win their final two games, and only if TSS lose to IGS on Saturday.
While a share of the title is still potentially up for grabs, Scotney brushed off claims that this weekends match at Ross is another GPS Grand Final.
“I don’t think we’re treating it like a Grand Final. The way we’re sort of treating it is how we treat every week in that every game is a Grand Final, you’ve got to win to keep yourself in the competition. There’s definitely weeks where you can see that there’s a little more intensity at training, and this has probably been one of those weeks.
“The boys have pressure on them every week. When you’re at Nudgee, you’ve got some big games throughout the year. We’ve already played TSS and Gregory Terrace at home which is a big game.
“We always get good crowds here at Nudgee, so the boys are used to pressure. We’ve got guys within our team; our captain, our number ten, those sort of guys who drive the team who sort of lead that sort of element for us.”
Nudgee’s only loss in 2019 came after Southports’ goal-kicking winger Hamish Roberts kicked a penalty after the siren. With another close game on the cards for Saturday, Scotney is hoping for a disciplined performance from his side.
“Discipline is always a big part. We’ve lost a game this year with a penalty after full-time. It’s always at the forefront when the games close at the backend that you don’t want to be giving away penalties within kicking range or penalties where they can kick the ball into touch and drive a lineout from there.
“The other thing is, you want to make sure that you have fifteen people on the field for the whole game.
“A little bit around our intensity at the start of the game, and a little bit with our defence particularly out wide. They’re probably the two areas that we’ve focused on this week.
The other big game in round 8 is Southport versus Ipswich on the Gold Coast. Both teams were talked up as potential title contenders in pre-season, but it’s TSS who have the chance to claim an undefeated premiership with a win this weekend.
Southport secured at least a joint-premiership with a 54-24 victory last weekend against Gregory Terrace.