Queensland prepares well for finals' top spot chase

UNDEFEATED Queensland head into today's men's match at the Australian Country hockey champion- ships focused on securing top spot for the finals.

The Queensland contingent used yesterday's rest day at the national carnival in Toowoomba to complete preparations.

After a morning game of golf, Ipswich-based coach Nathan Hooper organised an extra training session to fine-tune for today's clash against the other undefeated side NSW.

"We're playing okay without being brilliant," Hooper said, reflecting on Queensland Country's wins against ADF (3-0), Western Australia (3-1), Victoria (3-0) and South Australia (5-0).

"We're very patchy, a bit inconsistent at the moment, which is a bit concerning.

"We've having an extra training session just to really try and tighten the guys up a bit."

Hooper was encouraged by the performances of Ipswich quartet Mark Pocock, Chris Mantell, Steve Bayliss and Aaron O'Bierne who are starting to gel with other players from around the state.

The side is captained by Toowoomba-based Lachlan Brownhills.

"Playing South Australia, we scored five goals in 10 minutes and the rest of the game it was nil-all," Hooper said.

"We're not starting very well, which is very concerning. The good thing is our defence has looked very, very solid."

Queensland Country has already qualified for the semi-finals starting tomorrow. However, Hooper wants a victory in today's 10am clash to finish top of the pool.

The Queensland Country women's team, including Ipswich player Jade Emblem, is also unbeaten tackling NSW today.



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