Super Rugby


5/17/2010

Departing hooker Sean Hardman confident of bright future for QR Reds


A promising end to the 2010 season for the QR Reds has departing hooker Sean Hardman confident further success isn’t too far around the corner.

Hardman has witnessed a new resolve develop under new head coach Ewen McKenzie this season and he believes that makes the team a real threat in coming years.

“There’s probably a thousand small things that have changed from the end of last year.  And the small things make a difference,” Hardman said.

“What I’ve found throughout the season with these guys, is that when we have a setback or when there’s something that doesn’t work out one week, the boys genuinely learn from it.

“We learn each week what we’ve done poorly and we make sure we don’t do it again.  That’s the sign of a pretty positive team.  The boys really enjoyed that you could put the hard work in and really get a result or be rewarded for that.

“There’s a real exciting vibe around the organisation and you only have to look at numbers in the crowd.  We’ve laid a pretty solid platform and it’s pretty exciting for Queensland Rugby moving forward.

“Culturally, guys have understood that it does matter and it does count and putting a Queensland jersey on is important.”

But Hardman has warned of the destabilising effect of players getting too far ahead of themselves, insisting more ‘hard work’ was needed if they wanted to take the next step.

“We’re an exciting side that plays an attacking brand of rugby.  (But) we just have to learn that while we can do some great things, we have to back it up with some solid hard work,” he said.

“Taking the foot off the accelerator is where we’ve hurt ourselves in the past couple of weeks.”

Hardman finished 12 years of quality service for Queensland Rugby on Saturday night against the Highlanders, when he played a full 80 minutes as starting hooker in his 148th and final game.

The last minute 38-36 victory was a fitting end to his memorable career and is a win Hardman will remember fondly in retirement.

“I made a conscious decision at the end of last year that this season would be my last, and I’ve tried to make ever post a winner.  To finish running on at number two and to play 80 minutes...I couldn’t have asked for much more to be honest.”
 
Last year Hardman became Queensland Rugby's most capped player by breaking the record of 134 games held previously by Mark Connors.