By Luke Beesley
The Gallopers currently sit in second spot on the Queensland Premier Rugby ladder after recording six wins from eight matches.
In recent fixtures however, GPS have gotten into a dangerous habit of winning games in the dying stages.
“Our second half hasn’t always been as consistent as we would like it to be but it is certainly a focus for us going into the second round of the season,” GPS Head Coach Anthony Mathison said.
This worrying trend was epitomized in their fixture against Wests in Round 5 when GPS’ scrum earned a penalty try after the buzzer to secure victory 33-27.
“When we find ourselves in those situations the players know what they need to do and are confident in their ability to get a good result,” said Mathison.
In 2016 GPS lost nine matches with the average margin of those losses being less than a converted try, indicating that last year similar matches may have gone begging.
“It speaks volumes about the belief this group has that they can get across the line when perhaps games seem like they are a little bit out of reach
“It’s very player driven, we can talk about it as coaches but the players need to be on board and truly believe it.”
Wests will be determined to test how far this renewed mentality can take the Gallopers this weekend and will be looking to punish the Gallopers for any lapses in concentration.
Ed Fidow is a prime example of Wests ability to punish teams with the winger picking up seven tries in only six matches, two of which were against GPS.
Mathison admits, “Wests are a dangerous team with the ability to score a lot of points.”
Looking beyond Wests, GPS will also have to face Sunnybank and Easts on their home turf, two teams they traditionally struggle with and only narrowly defeated in the first half of the competition.
“Wherever we play, we have gone away from worrying about bogey teams and hoodoos,”
“We want to give ourselves the best opportunity to do well, not just to get to finals but to do well.”
GPS are no longer flying under the radar; their unwavering self-belief needs to become a core principle of the team if they hope to defend second spot against the weekly onslaught of dangerous opponents.