Congratulations to Rodney Anderson, Townsville Heat and Mark Worthington, Cairns Dolphins on being awarded the QBL Coach of the Month!
Rodney Anderson – Townsville Heat
There was no letting up by the Heat during the second month of QBL 2016, consolidating their early season dominance with another four wins during the period to remain undefeated. Now sitting 9-0 and three games clear of their nearest rival, Rodney Anderson has managed his team perfectly to leave no doubt as to whom the premier team of the league currently is.
It was far from an easy period for the Heat where at times they needed to really prove their mettle and also included taking on the defending champs twice. They began with a home clash against a desperate Gladstone outfit and were forced to make every possession count, hanging tough in a nervy 101-96 win. Next up the Heat were on the bus to Mackay and again Anderson’s perfect record would be put right to the test. Establishing an all-important first half advantage over their rival, Anderson got his troops to withstand immense pressure and a late barrage to hold off the hosts 81-79. These two tight games seemed to have reawakened the giant within the Heat they then went on to dominate the return clash over Mackay 87-75, then closed out the period against a hungry Phoenix-Clippers outfit 102-79.
This is the second straight Coach Of The Month for Anderson, following recognition for guiding his team to be the only undefeated outfit to start to the season. His ability to since keep the squad motivated and fresh for the challenge week in, week out while maintaining continued success is something to be envied by his peers. While there are still plenty of difficult obstacles ahead, Anderson’s primary goal now will be to see his team close out the regular season undefeated so as to be in prime position come finals time.
Mark Worthington – Cairns Dolphins
After four straight seasons as cellar dwellers of the north, the Dolphins have achieved a huge turnaround in 2016 under the tutelage of rookie coach Mark Worthington. Riding high in the top four and a finals spot now squarely in sight, Worthington led his team through a busy month and should be elated in achieving a 5-from-6 effort.
Instead of being disheartened by a mammoth loss to league leaders Rocky to close out the opening month, the Dolphins were reignited and commenced June a with quality 20pt win over last years’ finalists Gladstone. Next up was a dreaded southern triple-header where the Dolphins opened with a spirited performance against the high-flying Logan, pushing the hosts all the way only to be let down by a 4th quarter fade. However Worthing again got his team to demonstrate resilience and over the next two days the Dolphins bounced back in dishing out punishing wins over South West then Gold Coast. Returning home they faced perennial powerhouse Mackay and Worthington was able to manage his team through a tense, see-sawing affair to claim a thrilling and important 78-75 result. In closing out the period the Dolphins then made it four wins on the trot by seeing off the visiting Phoenix-Clippers.
Worthington has dove straight into the deep end with his coaching career, fearlessly taking on QBL this year as his first gig. The dual-Olympian is currently balancing this role with his playing duties at the Taipans, and early signs point to a successful full-time transition once his playing days do eventually wind down. As a rookie coach he will be ecstatic to have overseen his team to their current 7-3 record, and if things continue to go smoothly, he could accomplish a significant achievement by leading the Dolphins to their first finals campaign since 2007.