The Sunshine Coast Falcons had an absolutely stellar season, claiming the minor premiership, but the team faltered during finals and failed to make the grand final - surprising most.
With the 2019 Intrust Super Cup season having drawn to a close, we take a look back through the year that was for all 14 clubs to see what went right, what went wrong, and what the clubs may focus on heading into the 2020 season.
The 2019 Year in Review series finishes with minor premiers, the Falcons.
The season by the numbers
Final position on the ladder
- Won: 21
- Drawn: 1
- Lost: 1
Home and away record
- Home: 10-1
- Away: 11-0
- Scored: 856
- Conceded: 292
- For and against: 564
Players in focus
Harry Grant was phenomenal in 2019. The talented 21-year-old hooker, who is contracted to Melbourne Storm having re-signed earlier this week, appeared 22 times for the Falcons this year and scored 14 tries, had 21 try assists and averaged 99.9 running metres per game. Grant finished in the top three in the Petero Civoniceva Medal tally, took out Intrust Super Cup Hooker of the Year and was named Falcons' James Ackerman Medal winner for player of the year. He is definitely one to watch.
Try assists: 21
Line break assists: 22
Tackle efficiency: 90.7 per cent
Average run metres: 99.9 metres
Notable player achievements and milestones
- Harry Grant - Intrust Super Cup Hooker of the Year, Falcons James Ackerman Medal winner for player of the year, re-signed with Storm
- Todd Murphy - Intrust Super Cup Leading Points Scorer with 270, Intrust Super Cup Halfback of the Year, Intrust Super Cup Top Goal Scorer with 120, Falcons Best Back
- Chris Lewis - Intrust Super Cup Second Rower of the Year, Falcons best forward
- Caleb Daunt - XXXX Queensland Rangers
- Jon Reuben - Intrust Super Cup Leading Try Scorer with 23 and Winger of the Year, Intrust Super Cup most line breaks, Falcons Try of the Year
- Nat McGavin - Falcons Rookie of the Year
- Sam Burns - Falcons Players' Player
- Tino Fa'asuamaleaui - XXXX Queensland Residents, Queensland Under 20 selection, NRL debut for Storm, Australian Prime Minister's XIII, Samoa's 9s side, Junior Kangaroos (Australia A), Samoa's Test side
- Justin Olam - PNG Kumuls for World Cup 9s, PNG Kumuls Test side
- Nicho Hynes - Storm contract, NRL debut for Storm
- Ryan Papenhuyzen - NRL debut for Storm, re-signed with Storm, Junior Kangaroos (Australia A), Kangaroos for World Cup 9s
- Darryn Schonig - XXXX Queensland Residents, Storm contract
- Cooper Johns - promoted to Storm Top 30
- Curtis Scott - Australian PM XIII
- Dalton Phillips - Queensland Universities, Australia Universities
- Tom Rafter - QRL Academic Team of the Year, Queensland Universities team
- Siti Moceidreke - Fiji 9s team, Fiji Bati Test team
- Eric Smith - Intrust Super Cup Coach of the Year, Newcastle Knights coaching contract
Key factor to season result
Clinical game play
The very talented Falcons squad, under new coach Smith in 2019, were clinical from the first round until finals, remaining undefeated until Round 15 and not losing again until finals. The minor premiers had the ingredients for success this year - they had the top points scorer, goal kicker and halfback in the competition in Murphy, top try scorer and winger in Reuben, best hooker in Grant, best second rower in Lewis and a bevvy of very skilled Storm-contracted players. But, when it came to finals, the exemplary game play seen all year was bettered by other teams.
Looking ahead to 2020
The Falcons, under new coach Sam Mawhinney in 2020, will be hungry for a grand final berth after this year. Mawhinney will be equally hungry; he was successful in guiding the Falcons' Hastings Deering Colts team to its first ever premiership this year and will be looking to repeat that success. The Falcons have re-signed several talented players including Fijian international Siti Moceidreke and 2019 Rookie of the Year Nat McGavin, but have lost Reuben to the Dolphins so will be looking to the young talent at the club to step up and excel.