Break a ‘blessing’ for resurgent Dolphins
Noosa coach Mick Phelan has praised the impressive efforts of his grand final-bound Dolphins and believes a week off before the epic decider is a blessing.
The Dolphins will once again lace-up in Sunshine Coast Rugby Union's A-grade grand final having missed out on last year's silverware tussle.
They achieved the feat during a 25-19 victory over two-time defending premiers Caloundra at the weekend.
"It's pretty pleasing," Phelan said.
"The boys have worked really hard at it this year.
"Some of them have been training as early as November last year and to keep it going through COVID-19 and come out the other end is pretty impressive."
Their grand final berth continues a rich history of success, with the club having only missed two deciders since 1987, in 2007 and last year.
Phelan said earning a week off after snaring a direct path into the decider would have plenty of positive flow on affects.
"I think it's (important) for us," he said.
"It'll be good, we've had a few little injury niggles that the boys really need a break to get over and it's going to serve us really well.
"Some teams will say the opposite and say they'd prefer to play (with no break) but the way it's worked out for us, it's been a blessing."
Vice-captain Will Rogers echoed Phelan's thoughts on the break.
"Anyone that says having a week off is detriment is pretty wrong because we're going to use this week well, rest up and get all our house in order and then get keen for a big week of training and a grand final next weekend," Rogers said.
Phelan said training would continue as normal during the break, with even an extra Saturday session planned, but it wouldn't be to the same high intensity as normal.
Rogers labelled this year's squad as one of the best he'd had the pleasure of playing with.
"I reckon it'd be one of the strongest Noosa sides I've been part of, but it's pretty hard to go past the 2016 (team)," he said.
"A big part of a successful squad is that everyone is mates and not just mates on a Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturday but you generally want to be a part of the group and around them outside of footy.
"And that's the general feel around this group of lads."
Coach Phelan also had high praise for this year's squad.
"This side, if anything, they're very tough and resilient," he said.
"They just don't go away.
"Their mindset has probably been their best attribute and they're just very tough when it comes to those tight games."