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Symon says Bull Sharks can get better

Shannon Symon
Shannon Symon 

When the Bull Sharks needed to fill the enormous shoes of premiership-winning coach Lawrence Faifua, their first target was the guy sitting alongside him through the all-conquering 2023 season.

And it has been a perfect start to 2024 for the Bond women who are undefeated in the first four Queensland Premier Rugby clashes and thriving under the leadership of new head coach Shannon Symon.

Symon, who was an assistant coach for the Bond women’s squad in 2023, has swapped places with Faifua and is hell-bent on delivering a third QPR title after back-to-back premierships over the past two seasons.

“Shannon is an excellent coach with state and national experience and importantly, the playing group respect him as a coach and as a human,” Bond Director of Rugby Luca Liussi said.

“He was our assistant coach in 2023 and got a taste of grand final rugby and no doubt he wants to taste that victory as a head coach too.” 

Symon, who has previous experience in Super W with the Force, says the secret to the team’s success is the close-knit nature of the squad.

“We are open and honest on where we want to be, we work hard on our culture and connection and this builds to our on-field performances,” he said.

“I have a deep care for my players and staff so I try to be the best I can for them, and push them all to get the best from themselves.”

Originally established as a 7s side, the Bull Sharks can now boast being the number one women’s program in Australia.

The side has dominated state and national 7s tournaments in recent years and the QPR side, which entered the competition in 2020, are the reigning Australian Club Rugby Champions.

And Symon said there was no danger in the players or coaches resting on their laurels.

“The entire squad has stepped their game up this year, I have seen improvement from every one of them,” Shannon said.

“Senior players Shelley Fox and Cobie Jane Morgan are continually improving their game despite claiming to be retiring every year.

“ They’re far too good to give the game away yet.”

The Bond women’s team is brimming with talent with seven girls selected for the 2024 Queensland Reds team and the likes of Mel Wilks, Maddi Schuck and Eva Karpani Wallaroos regulars.

Liussi says the well-established pathway to the elite level not only benefits the aspiring professionals but also ensures the younger Bull Sharks players get valuable mentoring from teammates who have played at the highest level. 

“Many of our girls have made representative Super Rugby and Wallaroos teams. This experience and game knowledge benefits the younger girls which we continue to evolve each year.”

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