Power House coach Eric Tom has proudly accepted the underdog tag heading into Saturday's Dewar Shield Grand Final.
The man who only took over the reigns 12 months ago, is on the cusp of delivering 'House' their first Dewar Shield since the club's 2008 triumph; which was coincidentally against Harlequins.
We chatted with ET ahead of the Saturday's clash.
Rugby Victoria (RV): It was a clinical prelim win over Unicorns. What pleased you most about the performance?
Eric Tom (ET): I was really pleased with the determination of the players to never give up. They grinded all game and showed belief and trust in their systems to overcome a very talented Melbourne Unicorn outfit.
RV: The game looked quite physical. Any injury concerns heading into the GF?
ET: No, we’ve been fortunate to actually have players returning from injury.
The coaching staff now have a bit of a selection headache, which is a positive position to be in leading into the Grand Final.
RV: How has preparation changed this week compared to other weeks?
ET: We preach consistency in preparation and process at Power House.
While there is a buzz amongst our players, coaching staff, management and supporters, we recognise that our preparation and process is what has gotten us to this position; so we’ll aim to maintain it.
RV: You come into the GF as the underdog. Do you embrace this mentality?
ET: We love it!
We have felt like the underdogs all season and our players have really embraced it.
However, we don’t expect Quins to take us easy, so we’ll have to be at our best.
RV: What do you like about this Quins team? Where are their strengths and where will they challenge you most?
ET: I have been impressed with their defence, they stay connected and have been successful in turning defence into attack and into points.
They have been one of the two most dominant rugby clubs in Vic Rugby in the last 10 years, and have built a strong winning culture with lots of finals-experienced players. With a Rebel-reinforced back row and talented game drivers organising their systems, we will have to be at our best to make sure we are up for that challenge.
RV: What has been the proudest moment of the season for you?
ET: I am most proud of the resilience the playing group have shown after only winning 2 out of 7 in Round 1.
After holding some off-field team sessions, the players really bonded and have shown belief that they deserve to be legitimate contenders in this competition.
It has been such a pleasure to watch the entire club (Players, Management, Committee, and Supporters) rally in support of each other.
RV: First try scorer...who you tipping from House?
ET: HAHA I can’t say....I don’t want to give the tip off to the Quins!
The Dewar Shield Grand Final will be livestreamed on the Rugby Victoria Facebook page from 2:30pm this Saturday.