Missing link ... Quade Cooper's injury did the Reds no favours this season. Photo: Getty Images
One thing I've learnt coaching is that every decision you make is never 100 per cent right or wrong, but the worst thing you can do is be guilty of not making a decision or having no opinion at all.
This doesn't just hold true in the coaching world. Rugby operates within an environment where opinions on teams and individuals are commonplace - writers are paid to scrutinise and analyse performances, often with the benefit of hindsight and with the pressures of an uncertain media landscape where a headline, exclusive or cheap quote has never been worth more.
Whether we agree or disagree with what is written, this is the reality of our world and the truth is no one is more critical about the Reds and their performances than the coaching staff and players. We are not immune to criticism or praise, either internally or externally. However, we work hard to ensure our actions on and off the field portray our group in the best possible light.
Pleasingly, I get to write this column, where I can articulate my thoughts about the game. I enjoy the opportunity to give my thoughts, with the benefit of hindsight, and sometimes set the record straight against pieces written to make a story more appealing to the reader.
Personally, I can't hide my disappointment at one piece published at the weekend questioning our culture here at the Reds. After years of being anchored to the bottom of the Super Rugby table, our players and staff have worked extremely hard to create a winning Queensland team.
During this period, our fans, members and partners have backed us to the hilt and were rewarded when we won our first Super Rugby championship last year and a second straight Australian conference title this year.
Suddenly, our tactics, discipline and culture were all called into question, and our efforts undermined.
This is despite the fact that this group overcame much adversity during a challenging regular season in which we used six five-eighths and recorded our first bonus-point victory over the Waratahs since 2003, securing another finals place in the process.
For me, it's ultimately the playing group which is the best judge of culture, and I am proud to say that our playing group has given our professional rugby program and organisation a huge vote of confidence.
At the beginning of the season we had 14 players coming off contract, and each one of these players were targeted by another Australian Super Rugby province. All but one player has recommitted to the Reds, and perhaps even more telling was that most accepted smaller financial offers to stay.
Attitude, not just skill, wins teams championships, and we'll return next season as a more formidable group as we chase another Super Rugby title. We know our supporters will be there, too.
Speaking of titles, my skills as a tipster were shown up last week, when I couldn't pick either winner in a two-horse race. But, as expected, both semi-finals were quality affairs, played at the highest intensity.
I love the fact that the Sharks are defying logical thinking and now have the chance to become just the second team to win a final on the road and overseas. The Crusaders are the only team to have won a final match on the road, doing so on three occasions, highlighting just how important home-ground advantage is.
We now have a final that will produce a first-time champion. I maintain that champion teams are often characterised by their great attack and desperate defence.
Not surprisingly, we have that on both ends this weekend.
As I mentioned, better to make a decision than have no opinion at all. Therefore, I'll tip the Chiefs in an exciting affair - hopefully the penalty shoot-out won't be required.