Blues prove they're no easybeats
SOMETHINGS in the water at Len Peak Oval and it’s something special.
The turnaround at the Tweed Coolangatta Blues under the guidance of coach Grant McKenzie has been nothing short of amazing.
Flogged from pillar to post in 2009, Coolangatta have demonstrated that they won’t be the one singing the Blues in 2010.
From Pineapple Hotel Cup wooden spooners to State League scalpers, they are almost unrecognisable.
Perhaps the most obvious sign of the change came in the pre-season trial match at Kirra on Saturday.
Stepping up a division to tackle QAFL outfit Broadbeach, a death sentence just four months ago, Coolangatta announced their resurrection with a dramatic 9.12 (66) to 9.9 (63) triumph.
The Blues trailed for most of the match but were never more than two goals down and ultimately it was their rugged determination, a characteristic missing last year, which proved the difference.
That and the fact they tackled tougher, kicked smarter, passed better and, most notably, pressured the absolute hide off their northern rivals.
“What a turnaround,” McKenzie said. “It was unbelievable the performance, a really determined effort.
“At the end of the day scoreboard is irreleveant, it’s how you go about it.
“We endeavoured to play running football and keep the pressure on and it got us across line.
“There is definitely a better, more positive feeling around the club this year and I think we can give the competition a real shake.”
The game began evenly with the breeze the only difference as Broadbeach took a seven-point lead into the sheds.
The visitors led by one goal at the main break but despite dominating the third term were unable to break clear of the Blues.
Two goals down in the final stanza, the Blues launched a late blitz on the Broadbeach goal to steal victory.
“They never got the jump on us or overwhelmed us,” Blue Adrian Miller said.
“There were times you could see the division difference because they looked slicker and adapted to the damp conditions a bit better but I think they got a bit of a shock.
“Whenever they made a break or got a move on we would have two or three guys all over them.”
The Blues will continue their pre-season campaign on Saturday when they travel to Burleigh to take on the Bombers.