Our task doesn’t get any easier at this level in the Intrust Super Cup, with a tough game against Souths Logan Magpies on Sunday at Bishop Park. But there has been a really positive mood at training this week and it’s reasonable to assume a lot of our players will improve from last weekend’s first round effort against Norths Devils.
There were quite a few positives to come out of the first-round 24-12 loss. Several players were on debut, either in senior rugby league or for the Seagulls, and they have a game under their belts now and know what this level of footy is about now.
I think we have improved progressively during the trials and there was certainly an improvement in our performance from the first half to the second half against Norths so, as a coach, I’m happy that we are heading in the right direction at this early stage.
Having said that, we can’t afford to too often get into position in game where we can win but don’t, so it’s important we learn from last weekend.
There will be only one change to the team forced by five-eighth Alexander Brimson travelling with the Titans to Auckland as part of their extended squad for the clash with the Warriors. Lindon McGrady, who performed quite well in his first season with the club last year and has plenty of experience at NSW Cup and Queensland Cup level, comes into the side.
We’re lucky we have the depth to cover situations like this so well. Lindon’s form was good in the trials, especially in attack, and he was unlucky to miss selection against Norths but Eli Levido was just that little more impressive and gave us a bit more strength in defence. They both combined well in the trials, so we won’t lose a lot.
Lindon and Brayden McGrady did some special things together last year with their uncanny understanding but Lindon will play mostly on the left and Brayden at right centre, so they won’t naturally be on the same side of the field but who knows what they can still come up with.
Our co-captains will again be Sam Meskell and Lamar Liolevave and they both set the platform by leading by example last weekend and I’d expect nothing else again.
Souths will be tough. They are big side with clever halves, and with the Broncos reasonably healthy, they have a few of their contracted players in the 17. Fullback Corey Allen is a class player, as is halfback Sam Scarlett, and they have other Broncos players in George Fai and Patrick Mago in the pack.
When we played them in the trials their forwards rolled over us late in the game, so we will have to be good in the ruck area and control their speed and don’t let them build momentum. We also have to hold the ball when we have possession and try to run them around so they fatigue a bit.
Our A-grade team play Runaway Bay on Saturday night in a trial match, and they are looking strong. We’ve picked up a few guys from Burleigh Bears and have some young guys who showed their potential last season, so it will be good for them to get some footy under their belts and keep pressure on the ISC players to perform.