WALCHA didn’t have to look far for blame following Sunday’s 28-13 major semifinal loss to Scone.
The Brumbies did play well and deserved to earn the first spot in the Tier 2 grand final, but the Rams were their own worst enemies.
Their handling particularly was dreadful.
A “calamity of errors” was how coach Andrew Crawford described it.
Especially in the second half when it seemed every time they’d make a break or looked to be building some momentum they’d turn the ball over.
Their backs were against the wall by then with the Brumbies taking a 15-nil lead into half-time.
That was after the Rams had the early ascendancy.
“In the first half we were so dominant,” Crawford said.
“We were all over them at the breakdown, all over them moving forward.
“We just let them get back into the game.” He counted at least five times they lost the ball in contact.
The Brumbies first try came from a turnover, and it snowballed from there.
As well as the dropped balls, passes went to ground or they got penalised for holding on.
There were some flashes of brilliance and times when they looked like they might open up the Brumbies defence but generally the attack didn’t seem to have the punch it has in other games.
Part of the reason for that was that they were getting stagnant ball.
“The number nine got caught up in the breakdown a bit which slowed the ball up to Simon (Newton),” Crawford said.
He did make a change at half-time putting Richard Young in there to try and speed things up.
He said the Brumbies did play well.
They’ve got good go-forward in the midfield, and were able with that to get in behind them with their big forwards and turn their backs around.
The Rams will get a second shot at making the decider and will host Tamworth this Sunday.
“We were probably short of a run,” Crawford said.
“The run against them (Scone) will do us the world of good.”
They hadn’t played for two weeks.
Jock Fletcher and Sam Martin both had strong games up front, he said.
Robbie Glen was also good at number eight while Brian Mansfield was good when he came on to the wing.
He really gave them some impetus out wide and made a number of strong runs.