Simplicity will be the key to success for this year’s XXXX Queensland Residents team, with coach Aaron Zimmerle trusting the players to draw from their own games when it comes to the crunch this Sunday.
Handed a formidable outfit containing players Zimmerle summed up as “tough” – they will have to call on all their reserves when they come up against a VB NSW Cup Representative side with no shortage of talent.
With the Mata'utia brothers Peter and Chanel forming a key part of their backline and bolstered by an impressive array of forwards including Will Matthews (St George Illawarra); the Queensland side will need to start well to shut down those threats and establish some dominance.
While the key to making any team work is ensuring the group are united in their goal and are willing to make the changes and sacrifices to achieve it; it is also about understanding what makes each of the individuals within the group tick.
The Queensland players began the camp with an individual evaluation with Zimmerle and assistant coach Paul Lowe – and the Seagulls mentor was impressed by what he learned about his charges for the week.
Unfortunately, Jets powerhouse Rod Griffin succumbed to a thumb injury and ruled himself out of the side mid-way through the camp.
“We had a chat individually with all the players in the squad and the big thing is that they talk about the other players and they talked about how excited they are to play together,” he told QRL TV at the start of camp this week.
“Benny Hampton and Shaun Nona are guys in the Melbourne system, but they never get to play together; one plays for Sunny (Coast) and one plays for Easts – this is their opportunity finally on the football field to link up and see what they can produce.”
One player whose leadership credentials stood out from Day 1 was Ben Spina of the Pride; and he was named captain on Wednesday. Softly-spoken – he lets his actions do the talking and his example on the field is one his team-mates will gladly follow.
With all players knowing their role and showing a willingness to put in the effort, Zimmerle said overall, the focus of the team in camp this week was simplicity.
“The week, the coaching, is really about simplicity. We just want to make sure we give them enough structure and so forth to allow their games that they’ve already developed to come together,” Zimmerle said.
“And from that, it’s really about making sure that mentally we are on when the whistle goes.”
This year, the whistle to start the match will pierce the ears of those not only at the ground, but of a large TV audience, with the game being televised live across Queensland and into NSW for the first time.
Representative program for Sunday, May 3 @ Tapout Energy Stadium, Langlands Park, Coorparoo:
· U16 Cyril Connell Cup Final – 10am
· U18 Mal Meninga Cup Final – 11.45am
Both junior finals will be streamed live on QRL.com.au
· XXXX Queensland Residents v VB New South Wales Cup – 1.40pm
Live television coverage from 1.30pm on Channel 9/WIN/NBN
Gates open 9.30am
Children free (under 18).