What’s been the strength of the Tigers team this season?
Look I think we’ve prided ourselves all year on not relying on just one player to do the job for us all the time. With our bowling group it was Fekete who got the wickets for us during the last game, but in the past it’s been Rogers, or it’s been Rainbird, or it’s been Bird, or it’s been Bell.
So you know, it’s next man up and whoever’s doing the job that day – the rest of the guys support them really well.
Are the boys peaking at the right time of the year?
Yeah I think so. We’re winning games of cricket, so anytime you’re winning it’s always a good thing. Look I think the players are in a pretty good head space.
You know they’re just enjoying their cricket at the moment which is the most important thing. It’s not about winning the next game, but it’s about turning up and preparing well and putting our best foot forward every time we play.
So there’s no talk about the title at all?
No there hasn’t been. It’s just been about the next day and trying to win the next day and the next game. And making sure that every time we go out there, we are better than what we were the last time we were out there.
So we’ll certainly sit back and plot how we can win this game, but without sounding too cliched – it’s still just another game for us. And if we can prepare the way we have been, and do the things we’re doing, then hopefully we will have a good chance of winning it.
When you first came into the Head Coach role you were looking at a 3-5 Five Year Plan to get to this point and you’re here already?
Yes it’s a bit surreal to be playing in a final. But we’ve had some really good discussions with the staff and the whole High Performance team here have done exceptionally well this year – all the staff have worked really hard.
We did have a long-term focus and we still do you know. We don’t want this to be a ‘one-off’. We want this to be a team that competes every year and is pushing to win games of cricket and be playing in Shield Finals every year.
So there’s still the long-term focus but I’ll be honest, I didn’t think it would happen this fast, but now that we’re here we’ll give it our best crack.
What did you say in the rooms after beating Victoria?
It was pretty simple. We didn’t actually talk a lot to be honest. We spoke about how we’ve just beaten the team that’s won it three times in a row.
We spoke about some of the things we’ve learnt from this game that we can take forward and just about preparing really well.
We enjoyed the last win over the Bushrangers for what it was, and winning a game within three days is always a pretty good effort.
But it’s about preparing for next week now and making sure we’re doing everything that we can to be ready to go. But it wasn’t too different to what we’ve normally talked about all year.
So what have you learnt heading into the Shield Final?
Our first innings with the bat has been outstanding for most of the season really, and especially with the ball as well.
But you know, probably we just need to tighten up a little bit on our second innings batting and making sure that when we get an opportunity to bat a team out of the game, or to put our stamp on a game, that we actually do that with the bat.
And also with the ball is to make sure that when we do get four and five wickets that we don’t start to search and try to get those last couple of really cheap ones at the end.
So there’s a couple of things for us to work on this week. But we’re continually learning and making sure that we get better all the time.
What are the biggest challenges that Queensland present at Allan Border Field up in Brisbane?
At AB Field hopefully the wicket deteriorates a bit throughout the game and gives us an opportunity, and the Dukes ball is swinging around for us which we’ve shown for all the second half of the season.
But I think Renshaw is a big wicket up the top of the order and their bowling group’s been really good for them all season. Neser has been excellent and Feldman and those guys.
They’re a good side and that’s why they’re hosting the Final and we’ll have to be on top of our game but we’ll put things in place to hopefully combat those guys.
How big a step is this Final for those ‘young guns’ in the team?
It’s huge. Every time you get an opportunity to learn and every time you get an opportunity to experience this sort of stuff – you can’t buy it off the shelf.
So it’ll be excellent for those guys like Rogers and Doran and Silk – who’s played one before – and Rainbird and these young guys who are still learning their way in the game.
So hopefully they’ll take some really good learnings out of this and some experience out of it.
And… it’s a Final and they’re always great fun to play in.
Our QLD Bulls vs TAS Tigers Away Sheffield Shield Final: THIS Friday 23 - Tuesday 27 March will be live streamed via www.cricket.com.au