QLD Premier Rugby Mid Season Review: GPS, Norths & UQ

Believe it or not, we’re already at the halfway point of the 2019 QLD Premier Rugby regular season.

After nine rounds, Brothers and Jeeps lead the competition with just seven competition points separating the five teams below them.


We checked in with all nine Premier Rugby coaches to find out what they’ve thought of the season so far and what they’re expecting in the months ahead.

Elwee Prinsloo: GPS – 2nd (32 pts, 7 wins)

How would you describe your start to the season? Are you where you thought you would be at this point of the year?

“We’ve had a solid start in terms of wins/losses but we’re very conscious of some areas of our game that needs improvement going in to the second round,” Prinsloo said. 

“If we play the same footy that we played in the first round, I don’t think we’ll win half of the games that we did. Growth is the key as there are some quality Super Rugby players coming back into teams and that will make a massive difference to the outcomes of games. 

“Some teams have also been hammered by injuries so some top players returning to the fold might lead to some interesting results in coming weeks.

“We are where we hoped to be and it’s nice to tick that box, but it doesn’t mean much if we aren’t able to continue our improvement and build into the second round.”

Who has been your best performer(s) so far this year?

“It’s a tough one to answer because it’s certainly been a squad effort. 

“Our backrow has been strong but it’s our tight five that allows them to be strong by setting a good platform to start. 

“I also think our backs have made massive improvements and have really stepped up in the last three weeks.”

What do you need to do over the next 9 rounds to consider 2019 a success?

“We need to keep improving and keep challenging each other to be our best for longer periods of time during games.”

“If we do that, then we’ll be in with a shot in the top four and to win the Hospital Cup. If we can win it, then we’ll consider this year a success.

Luke Oxford: Norths – 8th (9pts, 2 wins)

How would you describe your start to the season? Are you where you thought you would be at this point of the year?

“We haven’t been consistent in the first part of the year. We recorded two good wins against UQ and Easts and I was hoping that we could build some momentum off the back of that but we didn’t make the most of those wins. 

“Our decision making in high pressure moments has really cost us.

“We were hoping to be somewhere around the middle of the ladder heading into the second round but at the moment we’re just outside of that.”

Who has been your best performer(s) so far this year?

“Liam Prendergast has really stepped up this year. We’ve also blooded two young forwards in Dane Zander and Michael Leary who are keen to do well. 

“Then the more experienced guys like Nick Chapman, Connor Chittenden, Jordy Tuapou and Tonga Ma’afu have also been good.”

What do you need to do over the next 9 rounds to consider 2019 a success?

“We need to win games and play finals footy. It’s no different to any of the other clubs.”

Elton Berrange: UQ – 7th (14 pts, 3 wins)

How would you describe your start to the season? Are you where you thought you would be at this point of the year?

“We’ve had a disappointing start to the season. Our consistency in our performances hasn’t been good enough. We’ve had a huge number of injuries but that’s part of the game and with our depth we should have been able to cover them,” Berrange said. 

“We’re behind where we want to be at this stage of the season but patches of our recent games show we’re turning the corner. The silver lining is that we’ve blooded a number of players to first grade which will pay dividends in the future.”

Who has been your best performer(s) so far this year?

“Our captain James Dalgleish has been impressive through the first half of the season. His calming influence on the new players in the team has helped them settle. 

“Pat Morrey has been in great form, he can play anywhere from 4-8 & has been our most consistent performer. He clearly has no regard for his body and sets a fine example to the rest of the group. 

“Sam Wallis has also been very good. He leads our carry and tackle stats and his no nonsense approach to the game sets the team standards.”

What do you need to do over the next 9 rounds to consider 2019 a success?

“We have to be more consistent across 80 minutes. We’ve played really well in patches of games but we have to translate that into 80 minute performances. 

“If we can do that, then the results and finals will come. We have a proud history of making finals for the last nine years in a row and that’s our expectation again in 2019. 

“We have some great talent coming back from injuries and how they integrate back into the team will be crucial. Towards the end of the season we’ll have some rep player filtering back in as well which will be a nice boost.”



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