Geoff Tarrant – Brisbane Capitals
A month of consolidation was accomplished by the Capitals, an undefeated run of five games achieved all via heavy wins. The Caps now look to be on a roll after having won their last seven, with head coach Geoff Tarrant having done a superb job in working his team into peak form at just the right time. They do however face the ultimate acid test this weekend in closing out the regular season, but have done all they can to be primed for it.
It was a month littered with dominant wins for the Capitals, starting with a thumping 48 point home win over the Bulls. Their next three games were also at home where they took on Gold Coast, Logan then Townsville and they continued to get the job done easily by coming away with wins in excess of 20 points in each. In closing out the period, the Caps travelled to Logan and took their game to yet another level, running the Thunder off their feet 119-79. These results have well and truly put the Capitals on the front foot at the right time of the season, and the confidence gained will be invaluable for the all-important games ahead of them.
This is Tarrant’s third year in charge of the QBL program, and after having led the side deep into the season the past two campaigns, this season is perhaps his best chance yet to make a play for silverware. Right now though he will have his sights set on the upcoming final round with a massive-double header against Rocky then Mackay. If he can successfully guide his side through they will snatch a surprising but deserved league top spot and walk straight into a home semi. Otherwise a home quarter-finals and potential home semi-final is assured, which means either way there is plenty to be excited about if you’re a Caps fan.
Chris Muggeridge – Rockhampton Cyclones
Despite a sluggish start to the month, it was a time in which the Cyclones were still able to make their mark on the competition and assert themselves as the team to beat. Second-year head coach Chris Muggeridge guided his team through a hectic seven-game schedule and came through with a 5-2 record, those wins forming a current five-game streak to give his team the desired momentum heading into Week 16 then the finals.
The Cyclones’ campaign started to look dicey when last year’s champions Mackay got the job done comfortably at Hegvold 89-77, and this was followed with being on the wrong end of a 74-71 thriller at Ipswich. The tide turned from that point however, the loss to Ipswich was start of a road triple-header for the Cyclones in which they closed out with big wins over the Mountaineers then Pirates. Next up were blockbuster back-to-back clashes with rivals Gladstone Power, the result of these to virtually determine who would finished the season as league leaders. The Cyclones overwhelmingly proved their credentials against the arguably more fancied opponents, knocking over the Power by 12 points on their court and followed this with a phenomenal 90-53 crushing home win. They then continued to turn it up in their most recent game against the Dolphins, with an 87-36 demolition job.
Muggeridge has avoided the ‘second year syndrome’ and instead taken the Cyclones to new heights in 2015. He got his team off to the perfect start winning their first seven games, however a bumpy mid-sector followed where the team dropped three of their next four. But having since steadied his side to now be riding a five-game wave, the Cyclones look destined to finish the season the same way it started with their final game at home to the Capitals. A home semi final then beckons for Muggeridge and his Cyclones, and if all goes plan, he will be mentoring the team in a home GF series where they have the chance to go one better than 2014.