THE Griffith Blacks were their “own worst enemy” after a lacklustre performance saw the Tumut Bulls trample them 34-11 at Conolly Park on Saturday.
The loss has seen the Blacks dumped from finals contention and ended a tumultuous 2012 SIRU season for the local side.
Blacks coach Clint Robertson said a lack of big men up front coupled with a disappointing effort by the squad led to the loss.
“We got belted,” he said.
“We were missing Michael Stally, Heath McWhirter and John Tagliapietra and they’re three of our biggest forwards who pack a lot of punch.
“Tumut had the edge over us at the breakdown and had a bigger forward pack but we just lacked commitment at the breakdown either getting there or maintaining a purpose if we got there.”
Despite the lack of intensity shown by the Griffith squad in attack, the Blacks managed to keep pace with the well-drilled Bulls side and trailed by just one point at the break.
“The whole team defended really well but because we kept handing the ball over we kept having to defend and Tumut spent the whole game doing pick and drives – they had a simple game plan and didn’t do anything fancy but we just ran out of steam at the end.
“At times we were defending on our own goal line for eight phases and that takes its toll – they ended up getting three quick tries towards the end and ran away with it.”
But Robertson was full of praise for the Blacks’ second grade squad, who produced a 15-11 win against Cootamundra.
“I couldn’t have been prouder of those fellas,” Robertson said.
“They played with their hearts on their sleeves – they were just excellent.”
Despite having a stop-start game with a trying referee, Robertson said the side stuck to the game plan and came back from a half-time score of 11-3 to Coota to take the win.
The Blacks reserves will take on Young at Leeton next Saturday for the preliminary final and the club will supply a bus for parents of the under 17s and any other supporters who want to go to the game.