QUEANBEYAN Whites Colts coach Sean Debenham isn’t one to subscribe to the theory that any loss is a loss you had to have.
But he admits his side’s surprise semi-final loss to the Tuggeranong Vikings a fortnight ago could prove to have been the wake-up call Queanbeyan needed.
The Whites will take on Tuggeranong in Saturday’s Colts grand final at Viking Park two weeks after the Vikings shocked the previously undefeated minor premiers in a 40-10 demolition job.
Victory over Wests in last weekend’s elimination-final however, means Queanbeyan will have another crack at their arch-rivals on the year’s biggest stage.
And Debenham said the belief within the Whites’ camp remained as strong as ever in spite of the side’s recent defeat at the hands of their grand final opponents.
“The Tuggeranong game was maybe the mental wake-up call the boys needed,” Debenham said.
“We trained and warmed up well before that game and didn’t get the result we were expecting which reinforced that we can’t take any game for granted.”
“I wouldn’t say we were complacent. We just didn’t turn up with our minds on the job at hand.
“We allowed ourselves to get pushed away from the structures that had held us in good stead all year and ended up trying to do things we hadn’t trained for.”
Prior to their semi-final defeat, Queanbeyan had enjoyed a near-perfect campaign. The side’s only minor blemish, a 10-all draw with Tuggeranong in round eight.
And with the Whites boasting the best defensive record of any side in the competition, Debenham said they were well positioned to turn around their semi-final slump come grand final day.
“I think we’ve just got to back to what we were doing well during the season,” he said. “Backing our defence and one-on-one tackles.
“We’ve got the squad and the structures to win it and win it convincingly. It just comes down to belief in our ability and being willing to do what’s necessary to bring the trophy home.”