VB NSW Cup Representatives coach Garth Brennan is motivated to gain some retribution against the Queensland Residents side in their epic clash at Tapout Energy Stadium, Brisbane.
Queensland earned bragging rights over the VB NSW Cup Rep Team coached by Jason Taylor in last year’s corresponding interstate match before the Northern Pride upset Brennan’s side, the Penrith Panthers, in the inaugural 2014 State Championship.
Still recalling that stunning defeat, tomorrow provides as the perfect opportunity for Brennan and his state to gain some revenge on the big stage.
“It’s a massive honour to coach the VB NSW Cup Reps team,” Brennan said. “I think the VB NSW Cup competition is the best second-tier comp in the country, if not the world.
“Queensland won this game last year as well as the State Championship on Grand Final day.
“I think across the board, the calibre of players in the competition and players exposed to the NRL day in, day out I think is higher in the NSW Cup than QLD Cup. But that’s not taking anything away from the QLD Cup either. It’s a fantastic competition and results speak for themselves with their success in the last 12 months.”
Queensland took a dominant 24-6 lead before the NSW side battled back to fall 24-16 in last year’s contest. As head coach of the VB NSW Cup Reps side, Brennan knows that it will take more than just talent to overturn that result against Queensland and triumph as victors in 2015.
“It will come down to desire, wanting to win it and wanting to win it more,” Brennan said. “It’s about attitude which is shown in your defence. If we defend well, our attitude is right and the desire is there; I think that’s what it will take. Both sides are exceptionally talented. It comes down to execution on the day along with desire and the will to want it.”
The strength of the NSW Cup Rep side is its sensational spine with captain Mitch Williams at hooker, Nathan Gardner at fullback, Adam Elliott at lock, and halves, Darren Nicholls and Mitch Cornish.
“Our spine is the key and we are really strong in that area,” Brennan said. “I’m confident the boys will come together. It’s been a really smooth transition with players slotting in really well to our game plans. They’ve adapted really well to it.”
It’s a tall task for the out-of-town VB NSW Cup Reps Team who face a star-studded Queensland Residents side featuring their halves pairing; Melbourne Storm first-grade Ben Hampton who has plenty of NRL experience and Shaun Nona, signed by Melbourne at the end of last season. Brennan is well aware of what a threat Javid Bowen imposes to NSW too. The Queensland winger, nephew of North Queensland Cowboys legend Matt Bowen, bagged three tries in the State Championship against the highly-favoured Panthers as well as scoring a dazzling 70-metre try for the Queensland Residents last year.
“Their backline is really strong,” Brenna said ”I’m a big fan of Javed Bowen. I’m surprised he hasn’t played more NRL. He was exceptional in the State Championship and from what I’ve seen this year, he’s a real handful.”
While Queenslanders have the luxury of cheering on their home side, NSW would love nothing more than to spoil the party and claim bragging rights once again on behalf of their state.
This match will be streamed live on QRL.com.au