Queensland Women looking out for one percenters

Super W
by Jill Scanlon

Queensland Women's coach Michael Hayes sent his team on to the field with a game plan to scrum the Rebels off the field on Sunday at Ballymore and it must be said it was mission accomplished.

“Each week we focus on another point that will improve our game and this weekend it was about dominance at the set piece,” Hayes said.

“They played well. We had a game plan going in – our own personal game plan with the way we wanted to play, a style and tempo we wanted to play."

A major element of the work Hayes is doing off the field is developing the thinking of the players around the game.

“What we’re trying to look at is making the girls a little smarter about what they do on the field – increase the intelligence factor,” he added.

“So, the girls are becoming more familiar with the types of play they should be running at certain parts of the field.

“That’s what we are really trying to push in the program with the Super W because it’s a campaign, it’s not a Nationals Championship where the competition is all over in one weekend.

“When you’ve got a campaign, it allows you week in week out, to tweak a few things, focus on a few things – and if we’re seeing the constant improvement like we are, it bodes well for moving forward."

For the Rebels, while a 60-point defeat is not ideal, it is the development of the team and the experience they gain from this competition which is the key factor for coach Alana Thomas.

“We worked on our defence after Perth so that’s something we put a lot of work into over the last two weeks and I thought we showed some really good improvement

“Unfortunately, it’s something that will just come with experience and something where you can’t put old heads on young shoulders.

“There are a lot of new girls out there and they will learn from that.”

Thomas was also impressed by the determination of the players to push to the end of the game despite the score and the fatigue.

“They kept going and were still going at the 79th minute with the forwards working hard and having a crack at it. The effort from the girls was there and that’s the positive thing that I take out of it,” Thomas said.

“The girls were willing to keep working and working for each other, getting over the ball and having a crack and it will come with a bit more experience on being able to maintain pressure.

The power of the Queensland scrum was not missed by Thomas either but she knows this area particularly is a work in progress for her young forwards.

Queensland now has two wins from three while Force has one win from two so the clash between the two sides next week is a must win for both teams, with the northerners having a bye in the last round.

Hayes is aware they will be in for a tough contest next week in the west.

“The team which adapts to the opposition quicker, will be the team that comes home with the points.“

“This will be our last game and we need to win it to make the final – that’s not lost on us.