A LACK of team mentality and unforced errors have cost the Griffith Blacks the chance to get their Southern Inland Rugby Union season back on track after going down 22-20 to the Temora Tuskers on Saturday.
The Blacks were eager to break their three-game losing streak when they took to the paddock at the weekend and they took control of the contest early.
But in a repeat of last weekend’s disappointing loss to Wagga, once they were in front of Temora’s tryline panic started to set in.
“We lost it (the game),” coach Clint Robertson said.
“There was a bit of panic, not as bad as Wagga, but there were a lot of silly passes and intercepted passes, one which Temora scored off, they just kept trying to push the pass that didn’t need to be pushed.”
Robertson said if his men had taken the time to think about their choices and not tried to score off every play they could have easily taken the victory.
“It would have been 40-5 if they hadn’t made all those unforced errors and if they had a sense of urgency,” Robertson said.
“The first 10 minutes we absolutely smashed them but then we started walking.
“It was frustrating to watch, watching them blow their opportunities time and again.
“It’s exactly what we talked about at training and Temora’s tries came from our mistakes – they got 60-metre run-away tries because someone threw a stupid pass that didn’t need to be thrown.”
Despite the errors made by the home side, the Blacks continued to keep pace with the Tuskers but a lack of team mentality cost Griffith as they fought to stay in what should have been an easy win for them.
“There was a lack of urgency to get to the break down and a little bit of laziness there,” Robertson said.
“There was just no urgency to get to a man who had no support. There was no team mentality, no slap on the back for a player who made a mistake or running to congratulate a player who made a try.
“They’ve got to play for their mates, not for themselves.”
With two minutes to go Griffith had an opportunity to take the lead with a penalty conversion, but it hit the uprights and they went to the final whistle trailing by two-points.
The loss has seen Griffith sink to third-last on the ladder with just one win from six games, but Robertson said his side had the skill to turn the season around.
“The football they played was good and tough,” he said.
“We were all over them. We out-muscled them in the forwards and around the ruck we were all over them, our pick and drives worked well and they only got past our backs once or twice. It’s just inside their 30-metre zone or ours that we can’t seem to capitalise.”
Robertson praised the efforts of Dahl Browne, Michael Jones and Matt Moon for their performances on the day.