University chasing history in QPR decider

by Sam Phillips

GPS' 22 year title drought is the talk of the town ahead of Sunday's Queensland Premier Rugby final but University of Queensland are striving to snap a streak of their own.

No Brisbane club has won back-to-back Hospital Cup crowns since the famous Souths sides of the early 1990s - who claimed five straight titles.

Despite their dominance over the past decade it's a feat which has eluded the Red Heavies and it's the final box coach Mick Heenan has to tick as University coach, having presided through the club's latest golden era.

"I don't think any Brisbane team has gone back to back since Souths in the '90s," Heenan said.

"Uni hasn't done it since '89-'90 either.

"It'd be nice but if I'm honest we aren't focusing on that - we are focusing on the job we have to do on Sunday."Mick Heenan has led a glory filled era for UQ. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan HertelThe traditional rivals squared off in the grand final this time last year but in Heenan's eyes there is little to take from that match, which his side won 23-14.

"There is high turnover in both sides, as (GPS coach Anthony Mathison) pointed out earlier," he said.

"I think you saw in the home and away season both teams took a while to find their feet.

"Both teams then finished the season well so I don't take anything out of last year at all.

"It's all new and it's a whole new season.

"We know that it's going to be tight, it's going to come down to a few key moments and we just have to be good enough to win those."

They also went toe-to-toe in the major semi final, a thriller in which Uni staved off a fast finishing Gallopers side.

"As far as being in a preliminary goes - that's the ideal preparation," Heenan said.

"You just want to get through those games without bashing each other up and without injuries.Heenan is hopeful of guiding University to rare back-to-back titles. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel"They've got through unscathed and that's good for them.

"It's really great to be alive at this time of the season."

Heenan is also well aware of the premiership drought driving the Gallopers - having coached there for six years prior to taking the job at UQ.

Just as records are made to be broken all droughts eventually come to an end and while that day will come, University fans won't want it to arrive on Sunday.

"We got close a few times but we never quite got there when I was there as a coach," Heenan said.

"There is an expectation there.

"Those guys from '96 are still pretty tight and I'm mates with a lot of guys who played in that side.

"I understand it and that was a really special group - that '96 group - so there is definitely some expectation there.

"At Uni we had a 20 year drought going into 2010.

"Those droughts eventually have to be broken but hopefully it's not this weekend."

University face GPS in the Queensland Premier Rugby final on Sunday, kicking off at 3pm, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and redsrugby.com.au.