Thursday, 16 May 2019

Mid-Season Pep Talk with Tate McDermott

After a solid Captains run at Ballymore, it was good to check in with Tate McDermott about how the side is going at this stage of the season. It's young players like him (he's not even 21 yet!) that give Reds fans a good reason to "believe" in the team, in 2019 and beyond!

Hey Tate, how was training this morning?

Yeah mate, it was pretty good aye. We’ve been training well all week and leading into the Waratahs game, it was pretty important, getting our last training - last little polish run to get our skills in touch before the big game tomorrow night.

The boys are in good spirits and looking forward to a good game.

I’d love to hear how you feel the team is going at this stage of the season.

Yeah I think we have a realistic chance to make the finals this year, all the boys are pretty upbeat. Obviously we started with three losses in a row and it was a bit disheartening considering we told our fans that we were going to be different this year and we started the way we did in the past. But I think we’ve won five games and the one in South Africa was massive for us and a few at home in front of our home fans - the Brumbies one was a big turning point in our season I thought. In the few games we have lost, it’s more been us losing it than them beating us. Last week against the Rebels was pretty disappointing, but aside from that, once we beat the Sunwolves and got our first win, I think we’ve done pretty well this year, considering the team we’ve put together, full of young fellas that have stood up and made their mark on the competition. So yeah, it’s been good so far.

We do have one of the youngest teams in Super Rugby don’t we!

Yeah, we’re the youngest team in the comp by a long shot. I think the average age is 22-23. There’s a lot of boys my age, who are turning 21 this year who are 20 now, then you’ve got Isaac and Jordy in the team who’re 19, Jack Hardy’s 19, Fraser’s 19. There’s a lot of boys that are really young and getting a shot and making a difference, which is good to see.

What will the team have to do specifically this weekend to beat the Waratahs?

Yeah. We’ve gotta be a smart team and we’ve got to kick the ball in the right places and hold onto the ball when we need to. I think for us, it’s all about attacking. As you know, they play with a flat fourteen and just the one fullback, so if we can turn them around and put it in their corners, I think that’ll take us a long way. It’s all about being smart and playing in the right areas of the field. Last week, our exits let us down a little bit, when we received that kick and tried to get out of our own half. So if we can nail that, I think that’ll show through the whole game. And if we hold the ball and execute when we need to, I think that’ll definitely give them a run for their money and we’re confident we can win this game.

I know it’s all about the team, but still it’s gotta feel good having four tries under your belt right?

(Laughs) it was good to get the first one. But like you said, it’s just good to be scoring tries for the team. If that helps the team in any way, it’s awesome. But there’s no better feeling than crossing the line, in an important game.

Thanks Tate very much for your time! 

No worries thanks for having me Tommy.

To hear more about Tate's rugby journey, make sure you catch my interview with him from last year here

Friday, 10 May 2019

An Interview with Junior Wallabies: Fraser McCreight, Harry Wilson and Isaac Lucas

I’m pretty excited about this weeks interview. The junior Wallabies have returned this week from a big win against New Zealand at the Under 20s Oceania cup competition and I got to catch up with 3 of the teams outstanding players, who happen to be Queensland Reds :-). Check out some of the great highlights from the final game here.

I caught up with U20s team captain Fraser McCreight and Harry Wilson during the Reds captains run and because Isaac was involved in the teams training, his team mates answered a couple of my questions in his place!

I’d assumed Isaac Lucas was going to have to run off to catch a flight to Melbourne, but Harry gave him a quick phone call afterwards and Isaac was more than happy to come across and add some extra answers to my questions as well.

So today’s blog post comes in 2 sections! Enjoy!

Hey Fraser, Harry and Isaac (who is absent),

First things first, a HUGE congratulations on the Oceania title win last week! I imagine you guys are still buzzing about the week?

Fraser McCreight: Thank you! Yeah it’s a pretty big win, pretty special. To keep a New Zealand side, or any side scoreless,and you know, to be the first team ever to win the Oceania title [over New Zealand] is actually pretty special. We have a good group of lads and that made it even better.

Harry Wilson: Yeah, it was an absolutely amazing feeling to obviously beat New Zealand and Japan and Fiji too. We played 3 games and had only 14 points scored against us, so it was great fun playing with the boys.

Have you all been back training with the Reds this week?

Harry: Yeah, obviously being back in training Monday and Wednesday with all the boys has been good fun, getting back to the usual fold and seeing the boys again. There’s a great feeling here, obviously they’ve won the last two games, so it’s nice to come back into a winning environment. 

And bring the winning environment! [Boys laugh]

I understand this is the last week with the Reds for all of you!

Fraser: Yeah, this is our last full week. We can play this week, if we got picked, which we didn’t, but Isaac did, but then next week we still have the week to train, but we leave on Saturday, so we don’t get to play.

But yeah, still looking forward to being around the lads, and hopefully we’ll beat the Rebels and be on top of the conference.

What’s something you learnt in that competition that you haven’t learnt anywhere else?

Harry: The one thing is, we had 3 days in 12 days, so a 4 day turnaround. I’ve personally probably never put so much emphasis on recovery. Normally you’d get 2 days off and then go into a big training session but we’d have 1 day off, then a double day of sessions, it’s a bit cruel on the body if you don’t treat it right. So just getting in the ice baths and doing anything we can to feel good for the next days training.

Fraser: Yeah, it’s also different… I did it last year, but for some of the new boys, because living with your team mates for two and a half weeks is different as well. Super Rugby, or club rugby, you don’t spend that much time with each other. Luckily for us, we had a good group of guys who loved each other, no one was a hassle, we loved spending time with each other, so that was good.

Can you guys talk us through the competition a bit and share some of the highlights or memorable moments.

Harry: So we had two games, the first one against Japan, then Fiji, then finishing off against New Zealand. Normally in the competition, Australia’s gone very strong in the first two games and then been defeated by New Zealand, we’ve never beaten them. But going into this game this year we were very confident, we’re a very close-knit team and we all trust each other. To get the win there… it was probably the best game I’ve been in in my life, with the way we played as a team, we did whatever it took to win for each other.

Fraser: Yeah I agree with Harry. It was one of those games where everyone bought into what we have to do and everyone did their job to the best of their ability. No one played bad, no one was a clear stand-out. We've got our "players player" here [Harry was voted in for the award by his team-mates] but everyone did their job which was awesome.

Isaac, Samu Kerevi, Reds captain has labeled you the best “Lucas” yet. What do you have to say to that?

Fraser: While Isaac’s not here, we’ll answer for him. He’s the only Lucas I really know, so I’m gonna say he’s the best of the four.

Harry: From my point of view, 100%. I’ve played with him in school and always trained with him, I’ve played with Tom too, but he’s 19 has he’s probably the best U20 in Australia and he’s playing very well for the Reds. I can’t wait to see him over the next few years, just thrive and be one of the best 10 or 15 in Australian rugby.

Fraser: He’s 20 now, and he’s started 2 games and pretty much played every game he could. Big things for Zaccy.

Harry: He won’t tell you that, he’ll say he’s the worst.

Fraser: He’s humble, but we’ll give him credit where it’s due.

Isaac has said that this competition win is “half the job” with the World Cup coming up. Do the rest of you guys agree?

Yeah, 100%. I think everyone has bought into the fact that you can’t get complacent. Just winning the Oceania cup, even though that was a great test match, the end result is winning the junior World Cup, which no Australian team has done before. So yeah, 100%, everyones bought in, everyone knows what we have to do, so you can’t be complacent.

Harry: Yeah, Oceania’s given us confidence to know that we can win the World Cup. Now, it’s obviously going to be a bit different over in Argentina, but we’ve got confidence and we’re gonna go over there and try and - or we’re gonna go over there and do it actually.

It seems Brad Thorne has been very supportive, releasing you guys to play for Australia.

Fraser: Yeah. It’s a weird situation we’re in, because we could potentially keep playing here and try and get Super Rugby caps under our belt, but it is pretty special playing for your country. To get time away and learning from all the experience that you’ve got here, with Thorny giving us permission to go across and do everything we can do to win that junior World Cup, it’s pretty cool. So hopefully we can go and get the job done and come back here and do whatever we have to do.

Harry: I agree with that. I know Thorny says there’s nothing more important than playing for your country, so obviously he’s released us to play and yeah, if we go and win the World Cup, there’s probably nothing better we could have done this year, just develop as a player, plus the experiences of playing against European countries, so hopefully next year the experiences we learnt this year we can try and give to the Reds and play hard here.

What are the teams plans for preparation for the World Cup?

Fraser: So we’ve got 10 days in Sydney, from 18th to the 28th May. We’ve got one trial match down there against the Barbarians and maybe another one.

Harry: Yeah maybe an opposed session against [Sydney club] Gordan. That’ll be really good, because now we know our structures and we can train against each other for 10 days and feel good and look good, but testing against good teams and good clubs will be good.

Fraser: Yeah and then there’s Aus Bar-Bars [Barbarians] got picked, there’s a chance we might have a hit-out with them.

What are you looking forward to the most about the World Cup?

Harry: For me, I’ve never played in a World Cup, so I’m excited just to be in a tough environment where I guess you’re playing for your life every game. I’m not sure if Australia’s won an Under 20s World Cup. You might know Frase, have they?

Fraser: I’m pretty sure we won an “under 21 World Cup”, with Genia and all that. But as Under 20s, we came second in I think 2010, but other than that we’ve come fifth or sixth most years.

Harry: It’s been a while then, (since we’ve at least been in the final) so I want to go there and create some history with some of our best mates and a group you love, so I can’t wait to go there and try and smash the world 

Fraser: It’s also pretty cool the places you get to go to, we get to go to Argentina

Harry: Eat a lot of steak…

Fraser: A lot of steak… I’ve never been to South America, I don’t think Will has either,and a lot of the boys are in the same boat as we are, so to get to do that with, like Will said, with your best mates, playing rugby - the sport you love, it’s gonna be pretty special.

Thanks for taking time to catch up. All the best with your training camp! I’ll be following your journey to the World Cup closely! Go and kick some butt!

Fraser: [Laughs] That’s our plan. Thanks for having us!

Harry: It’s awesome to be on here and hopefully talk to you soon when we get back!

Fraser: Hopefully we’ll do everyone proud. Can’t wait! 

Junior Wallaby/Queensland Red Isaac Lucas

Thanks for taking time, I know you have to rush off soon. What were some of the highlights or memorable moments from the Oceania competition?

Yeah, it’d be hard to go past the kiwi game. Beating them was very special. I’d have to say not only beating them, but keeping them to zero, that was might highlight of the 20s tournament.

What’s something you learnt in that competition that you haven’t learnt anywhere else?

Probably the small things, having a 4 day turnaround after each game. So things like recovery, the small things that better prepare you for the next game, that was probably my key take-away from the tournament.

Samu Kerevi, Reds captain has labeled you the best “Lucas” yet. What do you have to say to that?

[Laughs] He’s looked after me pretty well there Samu, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that. I think we’re all pretty different in the way we play the game. There are some similarities… I’ll take it [laughs] but it’s not something I look too far into. We’re all different in our own ways.

2019 has been described as a “breakout” season for you. Were you predicting things to go this way?

No definitely not. It’s been a great ride so far, and obviously a lot of work to do still. But I knew, doing pre-season if I could really train harder, Thorny sort of would be able to reward me and that’s what he’s done. But obviously there’s a lot of hard work to go and a lot of improvement that feel I need to make. But I’m really enjoying my footy. Hard work and enjoying my footy has been the key to the year for me.

Isaac, you said that the Oceania competition win is “half the job” with the World Cup coming up. Could you elaborate on that a little bit?

Yeah. The Oceania tournament was really good to win, we didn’t take that lightly, it was a big achievement. But when I said that, obviously the World Cup is coming up and our ultimate goal is to take that out. It’s a very tough tournament to win. While it was a good confidence booster, a great win down on the Gold Coast, half the job is done… we’ve got a massive challenge down in Argentina, to win the ultimate goal.

What are you looking forward to the most regarding this competition?

Obviously to play rugby, it’s Under 20s - you don’t take that lightly, you’re representing your country, I’m really looking forward the rugby and playing for my country. But also, the off-field stuff - I’ve never been to Argentina, so it’ll be great to get the opportunity to experience a different culture and explore and sight-see and that sort of stuff. The rugby aspect is obviously the most important, but you’ve got to take a step back sometimes and take in your surroundings.

Thanks heaps for your time and all the best this his weekend. I’ll be watching and cheering you on!

No worries Tommy! Thank you very much. Hopefully we can get the job done.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Banter at Ballymore with Bryce Hegarty

I love watching the Reds train at Ballymore each week and catching up with them afterwards. You can often tell they have their fans on their minds while they prepare for each game. This week was no different! I had a great chat with Reds five-eighth Bryce Hegarty who shared his excitement about where his team is at. You could sense his focus and drive to continue to make this team great.

The Reds have a home game tonight (Friday) at Suncorp at 7:30pm! Make sure you tune in, or come down and support!

Hey Bryce, thanks heaps for making time to catch up after training. How are you this morning?

No worries at all. I’m excited! And training was good. A good captains run this morning and I’m really looking forward to our chat.

The Reds are playing the Sunwolves this Friday and you’ll be playing against a few old friends. How much are you looking forward to this weeks game?

Very excited. Yep, I know a few guys in their team, obviously I’ve played in Japan for Ricoh over there. I loved my time in Japan… The Sunwolves are a very good team, you know they’ve had some great results and they play a very exciting brand of rugby. So we’ve got to make sure we’re on and playing our game. I’m very excited to play against them.

Can you tell us about the South African tour? What were some of the highlights, on and off the field?

Certainly. It was a good tour of South Africa. Results wise, it was good to get a win in the second week [against the Sharks] in Durban. I think it’d been 15 years since the Reds have won over there, so that was very exciting. How we started in that game was great, we put them under pressure the whole game which is what we’re all about and what we’ve been building at this club and focusing on. Obviously we want to take that into this week and the remaining rounds.

Off the field... it’s an amazing country, South Africa, very different to Australia I suppose. I found the weather was quite similar to Brisbane in Durban I guess and a few of us boys, the keen golfers, got out and had a game of golf. We played in Durban Country Club, which is a great course. We had a lot of fun there and we bonded really well as a team over there. You know the typical larrikins have their jokes on tour and there's a lot of fun stuff that happens. But I think it’s important for a group like this, everyone becomes really close on tours like that. You’re with each other for two weeks straight, so you kind of have no choice. My roomy was Higgers for most of it, we get on very well. So it was good fun.

Who’s the biggest larrikin for sure?

Ah Taniela probably. He’s a funny man.

Reds fans are excited you’ve landed in Brisbane! Can you tell us a bit about your rugby journey and how you ended up here?

Yeah definitely, I’m excited to be back in Brisbane, I grew up in Samford. I went to school in Marist, Ashgrove. I loved my time in Brisbane, I always wanted to come back and play for Queensland. I started when I went down to play for the Melbourne Rebels when I was 19, then I went to the New South Wales Waratahs. Unfortunately I missed my first year there because I did my ACL in my knee, but I was there two more years, I enjoyed my time there. I made my way up North to the great state of Queensland, I’m settled in here now and enjoying my time here and I’m looking forward to the future of this club. I think it’s very exciting what we have coming through. I’m really excited to be a part of it.

Things have really been clicking with you and Tait (McDermott), with you in number 10 and Tait at halfback (number 9). What are your thoughts on your partnership? Also, for my readers still learning about the game, how would you explain the partnership between half-back and fly-half and its importance?

Tate and I are really enjoying playing with each other. Yeah it’s a partnership and as you’re probably aware, combinations take time to build. Tate and I have gelled together quite well. One of the youngest half pairings in the competition. He’s so enthusiastic and keen to learn all the time and we’ve spent a lot of time together working on our game, because you can see in the games we’re improving each week. Our time together on the field’s super important because we’re controlling the team in a lot of ways.

Generally speaking, the half-back (number 9s) and the five-eighth (number 10) are the conductors of the game. They control the game as much as they can. As much as you can, you try to be smart with all your calls, your try to direct your team around the park where they need to go, you try to be really loud, in terms of your directions and then it’s up to the rest of the team to execute the plays. The best way to think about it is they’re kind of like the conductors of the orchestra.

What inspired you to play rugby early on?

I was always encouraged by my parents to play rugby, my Dad played Rugby League and I played League as well. Then going to Marist Ashgrove, a very big Rugby Union school, I got into Union there. I played with Nick Frisby who was obviously a Red as well, we’ve got a good friendship. I really loved my time playing rugby at that school and making the mates I have. That’s one of the things I love most about Rugby, you become mates with so many people from such diverse backgrounds and that’s something I’ve loved and enjoyed the most about the game.

What’s your number one piece of advice to young players, both girls and boys?

Number one piece of advice is just to keep training, keep practicing. And don’t let anyone tell you your not good enough, your not big enough, anything like that, because it’s all in your hands. If you want something bad enough, you’ll make the sacrifices that you need to, to get it. There’s always gonna be people that say, you know, negative people and my best advice is just to focus on yourself and do the best you can be whether you’re a boy or a girl.

What’s your favourite thing to do outside of rugby?

Um, I love playing golf. I love doing that as much as I can, I find that’s a really good release - from playing rugby. I love going to the beach, I always love getting out there. I love going to the Sunshine Coast, whether it’s Noosa, or Sunshine beach, or Caloundra, hanging out with my partner and our Gold Retriever… that’s always good fun.

What’s your message to Reds fans ahead of tonight’s game?

We’re doing everything we can and we’re really excited for the next seven rounds, because we’ve got such a good opportunity to play in the finals this year and keep improving. And I know we’re training very hard here, we’re looking to improve every week, and you know, we want the best, we’re players that want to be our best and do the best we can, and we’re challenged to firstly make the finals, play in the finals, and as we go in there, take each week as it is. So yes we’re challenged to win, because that’s what every team here wants to do.

Thanks Bryce for your time today. I will be right behind you and the team this Friday!

Thanks so much. Thanks for interviewing me Tom. And anytime you want to have a chat, I’m always here, whether it’s about rugby or anything.

Thanks for having me, and I look forward to seeing you again soon!

Friday, 26 April 2019

Riverside to Reds

Spotlight on: Bulimba Riverside Junior Rugby Club

U-10 player Jacob slots a kick
through the uprights
This week the Reds have a bye and so it made sense to feature a great local club in Brisbane - Riverside Juniors! For all Reds fans, club rugby is the lifeblood of the sport in Queensland, so make sure you’re getting down to your local club as often as you can. Grassroots is what it's all about!

Bulimba Riverside is a Junior club that started in 2004 as an "alternative" to larger clubs in Brisbane. The young people train every Friday night and there was a great atmosphere on the grounds and in the clubroom. There was a BBQ and drinks for sale, catering for the many young families in the greater Peninsula area.

It was good to see all of the juniors training hard, including, for the first time, 3-5 year olds who were running and learning ball-handling skills.

No doubt, there are some future Reds and even future Wallabies in this club, right now!

It was great to meet some of the coaches, the club president Andrew (nice guy!) and of course the great young players themselves. Also, it was great to hear our old mate, the lovely Maddy Maquire sing some tunes for everyone in the clubroom.

You can check out their club website here. New members are always welcome!

Go Riverside !!!!!
Riverside U15s

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Reds Rookies Rule - Featuring Feao Fotuaika

This week, the majority of the team is away in South Africa, getting ready to play the Sharks in Durban.

Reds prop Feao Fotuaika, is unfortunately at home injured with a broken wrist. But it did mean that he was free to catch up, in the middle of his morning fitness session!

Feao is one of the great rookies of this years side, who’s already made his mark on the field. And as I’ve found out during the season, he is a real gentleman off the field! Hope you enjoy reading this weeks interview.

Hi Feao,

Nice to meet you. Thanks for taking some time to catch up!

What’s the plan been for the last 2 weeks, with the team being on the road?

The plan’s been to get my recovery going… I broke my thumb against the Brumbies. I’m missing out on 6 weeks of rugby, so that gives me time to focus on fitness and little things I can fix up on my game. A lot of running for the next few weeks. Yeah.

How are you finding being around Ballymore this year?

I’m really happy being here at Ballymore. I grew up in Queensland and the majority of my family are here so that makes it even more special for me to be able to play for the Reds… I’m enjoying everything. The fans, it’s been unreal. I’m enjoying every moment in the Super environment.

You scored a try during your debut against the Highlanders. Can you talk us through that game and what that experience was like?

I still remember everything little that I did in that game. It was an emotional game for me. My first super rugby game… running out with my parents there. My parents hadn’t seen me play since they left Australia and moved back to New Zealand about 5 years ago. So they haven’t really watched me play live [since moving from League]. It was good to run out and see them there! It was really good contact and everything. It was what I expected at the top level and that try was just a bonus. The whole week leading up to it was just unreal.

You’ve had a pretty interesting rugby career so far. Can you tell us about your journey to the Reds?

Journey to the Reds… it’s a long one. I started off playing rugby league in New Zealand and my parents moved us over when I was around 14, to look for a better life here in Australia. Sport was what me and my brothers were after... I was chasing Rugby League until I was around 18. Then I made the switch. Being in the Under-20 training camp was where it all started. I stuck it in from around 20 until now. I thought of hanging up the boots when I was 25, turning 26. I thought it was too late for me to make it, but I just stayed in there, kept putting in the hard work, then luckily enough got the opportunity to come into the NRC and then pre-season training with the Reds. That’s when it all happened. Getting stuck in during pre-season, I lost about 15 kgs. It was a big change for me. I changed what I was eating, the way I was living life and that’s where rugby with the Reds took me.

What do you find the main difference is between playing in the NRC and playing Super Rugby?

Um… I don’t really see much difference. I think Super Rugby is “smarter”, the way it’s played. You’ve got to be always thinking about your role and doing your job, that’s the hardest thing. You’ve got to be 100% accurate with everything.

The style Super Rugby produces is world-class, it’s what people play to watch. NRC is tough physically and it’s close to Super Rugby standards, which is good as well.

Some of my readers are still learning some of the finer details of the game of rugby. In your own words, how would you describe the props role on the field?

I find it a tough position to play, especially with scrumming, with the work-rate around the field, just doing physical hard work, as a forward, the props role is to be the “enforcer” and the “aggressor” of the team.

What’s your favourite thing to do outside of rugby?

I’ve got two kids, one is seven and one is five. I love to hang out with them as much as I can. Me and my partner love to take them out. If I’m not training or anything, I’m hanging out with my kids and my partner. Other than that, hanging out with friends… I also picked up a new hobby lately which is playing PS4. My partner doesn’t really like it (laughs). I’ll have to kick back on that one. But I enjoy playing GTA with my sons.

Thanks Feao for your time, it’s a real pleasure talking to you. I’m cheering you on during your recovery. 

No thank you for giving up your time to have a conversation with me. I’m happy to talk with you anytime Tom.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Shooting the Breeze with Queenland's Shannon Mato

G’day from Sydney! In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Super W final is on today! I’ve travelled down to support. Good luck to all the players!

Kick off time is 4:30pm at the Leichhardt Oval (which is in Western Sydney). Should be a cracker of a game!

Earlier this week, I caught up with Queensland lock, Shannon Mato. I hope you enjoy reading our chat, as much as I enjoyed talking with her. Go Shannon!!!

Hey Shannon, congrats on a great team win in the play-off last weekend.

Thank you!

You played brilliantly. What’s been the teams mindset this week, since that game?

Just to execute well together, to be patient, to work well together, to just relax, but be hungry at the same time, to go in with contention.

What’s been your highlight this year, during the Super W season?

I would say being a part of the whole Super W has been my highlight and just going out and putting on the maroon jersey.

You were chosen to be a part of the Classic Wallaroo’s match a few weeks back. What are some things you learnt from that experience?

It was a really good experience. It was a big eye opener for me, the culture was good. And you can make good friendships by playing rugby. I learnt that culture means a lot, out there in the country (we were playing in a country town). 

How long have you been playing rugby for? And also, what inspired you to play rugby, right at the beginning?

So I started off with Rugby League in school, when I was 13. Then I moved over to Australia [from New Zealand] and my friends asked me to play Sevens, just for fitness, then Sunnybank asked me to play fifteens. Thats how I started playing Rugby Union, in grade 11. What inspired me to play rugby… that was my brother. He always had a passion for it and he just told me to come down to a club. I started playing and I fell in love rugby.

What’s something you love to do when you’re not playing rugby?

I love animals. I have two dogs, Bentley and Zeuss… I love them very much. Other than that, I love to sing. I have sung for school, but I’m normally too shy to sing out there. But in my own time, I love to sing.

All the best this weekend Shannon! I’ll be cheering you on this Sunday, in Sydney.

Thank you! Thank you for having me.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Heart to Heart with Hana

A Conversation with Queensland (and Wallaroos) Prop Hana Ngaha

To close followers of women’s rugby, Hana Ngaha doesn’t need an introduction. A bedrock of the Wallaroos since 2017, Hana has also helped lead the Queensland women’s side to prominence in recent years.

It’s a big week for her State’s team. Fresh off a play-off win against the Brumbies (where she scored a great try!) she and the team are looking forward to playing in the Super W final against New South Wales this Sunday!

Hana talked about where she feels the team is at in the middle of finals week and what her number one personal goal is for the future (hint: it’s got nothing to do with rugby.)

Hey Hana, thanks for taking the time to catch up. Big week for you guys for sure!

No worries!

What’s been the attitude amongst the team, leading up to the final?

Everyone’s been really positive hey. We’ve got a good team culture at the moment… through out the whole campaign actually. Everyone’s real positive and I think that’s really important.

Are you planning to score a try this week, like you did last week?

I think that’s the plan every week. Hopefully, I’ll see what I can do aye! (Laughs)

It was amazing seeing six women score six tries last week down at Ballymore. Congrats on the win by the way.


But looking forward… What do you think it’s going to take to beat New South Wales in Sydney this weekend?

I think it’ll be important for our forwards to be on our top game. They’ve got some really fit, experienced forwards. But I think we’ve got it in our team, obviously with our passion and with our skill set and our attitude. I know we’ve got it this weekend. 

You’ve performed at a high level, having played for the Queensland and the Wallaroo’s for several years now. What are your personal goals looking forward?

I think I’m coming towards the end of my rugby career. I’ve got a couple of kids at home that have just started playing competitive rugby and my daughter’s started playing netball, so I’d love to support them. Over the years, I’ve supported them, but I’d love to support them 100% and go back and hopefully make them good! (Laughs)

What advice do you have for young rugby players, both boys and girls?

I think it’s gotta be: “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard”. It’s so cliche, but it’s so true.

Awesome. Thanks again for taking time to chat. All the best this weekend! See you in Sydney.

That’s awesome! Thanks for your support.