Dolphins may be on top but coach is wary of Uni
NOOSA coach Mick Phelan has declared University the competition benchmark ahead of tomorrow's round five top-of-the-table clash, despite his team currently sitting in first place.
And the stats back his argument, with the Barbarians outscoring the Dolphins 127 to 117 this season while conceding 10 fewer points (29 to 39).
Each side has won three from three so far this season, but Noosa gaining bonus points in every match has them one point ahead on the competition table.
"As far as benchmarks go I think University are definitely there at the moment and they are the real deal this year," Phelan said.
"They obviously supplied a lot of players to the Sunshine Coast Stingrays over the years and a lot of those boys have come back to them and they have some great juniors coming through as well."
University are riding high following last week's 64-0 annihilation of reigning premier Maroochydore, which served as a warning to the rest of the competition of their capabilities.
Noosa beat the Toads 36-18 last week while University just got home 24-17 in their round two match against the same team.
"The score last week probably wasn't a real indication of the match and the boys came off the field saying it was the toughest match they had all year," Phelan said.
"The Toads really tested us in a lot of areas and we will have to be a lot better against University."
Noosa's backline has been superb to score points at will with their left side attack almost unstoppable.
Phelan said he was particularly impressed with Uni's handling in slick backline moves.
"Whenever they have the ball in hand they look good and get over the advantage line and that helps the whole team," he said.
For their part, Phelan said Noosa's strength thus far had been up front, in the forwards' phase play.
"The forwards have been going great and setting a very good platform for us," he said.
"But the whole team is starting to gel and we have just got to cross our fingers that we can continue that this week."
NOOSA v UNIVERSITY
3.15pm tomorrow, Dolphin Oval, Sunshine Beach