Lessons learned in Cup

UNION: The Spring Cup is back and so too are the tries and the big hits. So what took our eye from the first round of the competition.

1. The Mariners are the benchmark

If the Mariners keep their Island Breeze Rugby Plus players the side will be hard to beat for this year's title.

The side oozed class against the Turtles and dominated the scrum and lineout before exposing the Turtles defence with their backs.

The winner of the competition will either be them or a side that can knock them off.

2. Barbarians need creativity

The side dominated possession and territory but were not able to punish the Pythons during the contest, only just winning.

The Barbarians, to me, are missing some pace in the back and that creativity from the inside back to set-up play.

If it gets it, or incorporates it over the next few weeks, it can certainly contend for the title. But it wasn't on show on Saturday.

3. Pythons backs are the key

If the Bundaberg Pythons win this season's Spring Cup, their backs will be the ones that deliver it for them.

The side struggled with territory and possession during the game against the Barbarians but were kept in it through the cleverness, creativity and pace of their backs.

If the Pythons can allow them to get in the game, the side will win more than it loses.

4. Turtles finals bound

The Turtles will play finals this year but at the moment it doesn't look capable of adding to their eight titles won over the past nine years.

To me, the side has too many youngsters that will struggle to transition to play the rugby required to beat the best when the going gets tough. The side got beaten by 45 points against the Mariners and it could have been more. The season is young but the side is not at the top right now.

5. The Waves struggle early on.

I hope The Waves Falcons are ready to play this weekend after failing to show up on Saturday to help with the refereeing.

Each club, when it has the bye, is expected to provide touch judges for the games but The Waves didn't do that.

It doesn't bode well for the side, which is expected to play this weekend against the Barbarians for the first time in a competitive game in more than 12 months. Here's hoping it was a week of unfortunate circumstances for the club.