Discipline and fitness the key for Yeppoon Seagulls
IF recent form and history is any indicator, the Yeppoon Seagulls are marching inexorably towards a second consecutive premiership in the Rockhampton Senior Local Rugby League competition. They are reigning premiers (and 2014 club champions with all three grades making the final), they won the Nines pre-season tournament and are undefeated this year.
According to their coach, Jason Green their success and strength is built on two key platforms, discipline and fitness.
"Like a lot of other clubs in the A Grade comp we are a young side," Green said.
"I only have two players over 25. But we are a very disciplined side. Our club is built on strong values, both on and off the field and discipline is key to this. The playing group sets high standards for themselves.
Our senior players, who won the premiership last year, instil this discipline in the rest of the playing group. They know what it takes to win the competition; hard work and no short cuts. Discipline."
Fitness is another major component. Arguably the fittest team in the competition, the Seagulls need to be, because they are not a big side. Their pack is small, mobile, fast and very, very fit.
"If you are fit team you can sustain pressure for long periods," Green said.
"As a team we work hard on gaining momentum, we work harder on keeping it."
When you watch the Seagulls play, this ruthlessness is obvious. You don't see too many of their matches swing back and forth, with one side scoring, then the other side and so on. Last weekend's match against Biloela Panthers is a classic example.
"Bilo played some great footy against us last week and they were really competitive," Green said.
"The final score didn't reflect this, but as a team rebuilding they are heading in the right direction."
The score, 46-24 didn't reflect an even contest and that's because the Seagulls put Bilo to the sword in just 10 minutes, crossing for three quick tries to steal the game. The ability to quickly put their foot on the throat of their opposition and suffocate the spirit out of them reflects their ruthless mindset.
Two senior players Green relies on week-in, week-out are hooker George Grant and backrower David Still.
"I'm really impressed with George's maturity and discipline," Green said.
"His vision, his awareness and recognition of where the team is on the field and the right decisions at the right time to get us where we need to be is fantastic. David, well he's just a genuine rugby league player.
One of the toughest second rowers going round in the comp. He is relentless and works so hard every game."
David Still himself is happy with where the Seagulls are heading.
"We're not a big team but we're fast and fit, we can all play a full game," Still said, reflecting his coach's mantra.
"We're getting better and better each week."
So, can they retain the title? "Yeah, I reckon if we keep doing what we are doing we should be fine."