QLD Premier Rugby: GPS coach expecting ‘knockout’ style of rugby in short 2020 season

By Liz Moore

GPS coach Elwee Prinsloo is tipping an exciting knockout style of rugby to come out of this year’s shorter 10-game Premier Rugby season.

“I think it’s going to be a really high level of competition,” he said.

“Some of the clubs that usually struggle with a bit of depth in the second round, they’re not going to have those issues.

“Certainly from a strategic point of view, it’s far different playing 10 games than it is playing 18, plus finals.

“Every weekend will be pretty tough and it’s going to be important to keep winning,” he said.

Coaching GPS for his fourth season, Prinsloo is happy with his team’s progress ahead of a delayed August start.

“We’ve tracked our players pretty closely on training programs the last six weeks. 

“They’ve been keeping fairly fit. 

Prinsloo said after some early frustrations with the delay to the season, the extended break has proved beneficial for a lot of his players. 

“It’s actually been great for some players to do a bit of proper rehab and get their bodies fixed. 

“I think some of the older players welcomed the delay, and many are feeling a lot better now with surgeries and other things done early on.”

Far from missing any players, Prinsloo said GPS has a full squad with more players on hand than originally planned. 

“Some of the players that weren’t going to be available are available again now, which is good.”

Prinsloo gave tighthead prop, “the old bull” Fred Burke an honourable mention for the work he’d done to get his body fixed in the off-season. 

“Fred’s had some good time off to spend in the gym, which is his second home.

“He’s pretty excited to rip in come August.

“All the players and staff are ready to rip in,” he said.

As for the competition, the GPS Director of Rugby is very respectful.

“Easts will be very hard to beat. They’ve got a very good forward pack and have recruited well,” he said.

Prinsloo is equally enthusiastic about the opportunities a 10-game season gives the clubs who have placed further down the ladder in recent years.

“Souths and Bond are usually pretty fit. Those are the danger clubs, the ones that usually finish fifth or sixth,” he said.

“Because it’s one round of football they have a really good opportunity in pushing top four now because depth won’t be such a big issue.

“Even Norths and Sunnybank who usually struggle with a bit of depth coming into second round. 

“I think the fact they’ve recruited well in the off-season and they won’t have to deal with that extra load on players with only 10 games, which means their best players will be available more often, makes them dangerous. 

“So that’s exciting. It should be a good season.”