Yeppoon coach will not rest
YEPPOON may be top of the ladder in the A-grade Challenge Cup but coach John Harbin is taking nothing for granted.
The Yeppoon side yesterday came away from its home game with a 44-16 win over Biloela but Harbin said it was a great second half performance that made the final score look so good.
“It was 16-16 at half-time,” he said.
The coach is in his first year of coaching in Rockhampton since returning to the area and having looked at the teams in the Challenge Cup competition, he sees no easy matches.
“Tannum Sands and Fitzroys are the big improvers,” he said, although it would be fair to add the name of Yeppoon to that list.
“We are not blowing our own trumpets yet.”
Harbin is recognised as a leading fitness trainer, a position some big British clubs in league and soccer were willing to engage him for, but he is not prepared to say his Yeppoon team has a fitness advantage over opponents.
“We seem to play better in the second half (of games) and once on a roll we keep getting points,” he said.
Oddly Yeppoon saved their best play against Biloela until it had lost influential Comet Nathan Barraclough who looks set for a few weeks on the sidelines with a badly corked thigh.
Three tries from Cory Randall, a player recently promoted from reserve grade, was a base on which Yeppoon built its victory, but Harbin is not a man who hands out too many accolades.
“He’ll tell you the people inside him did all the work,” Harbin insisted.
One player who does make the team tick is its captain Cheyene Motu, who backed up after playing for Rockhampton the previous day in the challenge match with Gladstone.
Frontrowers Dan McLellan and Tim Harlow also received the nod of approval from the coach, while Bryce Walker had more minutes on the park than he might have expected due to the Barraclough injury.
Harbin said the team Yeppoon put on the park was a young one with a few experienced players in key positions and like most coaches he saw areas for improvement.
“A coach is never happy, it (the team) is a work in progress,” he said.
Yeppoon have a tough ask on Sunday with a match against a wounded Rockhampton Brothers team which was surprisingly beaten by Wallabys 27-26 in Gladstone yesterday.
Brothers at home is a dangerous proposition for any team and John Jenkins is certain to have his players fired up. CQU Norths finally got on the board and should make it back-to-back wins this week when Valleys visit.
Round Five results: Tannum Sands 32 def Valleys 22, Yeppoon 44 def Biloela 16, CQU Norths 50 def Gladstone Brothers 30, Wallabys 27 def Rockhampton Brothers 26.
Points after five rounds: Yeppoon 8, Tannum Sands 8, Fitzroy Gracemere 6, Rockhampton Brothers 4, Wallabys 4, Biloela 4, Gladstone Brothers 2, CQU Norths 2, Valleys 2