Narrabri were by their admission outplayed and outenthused by a red-hot Walcha on Saturday as a season that promised so much came to a disappointing end.
The Blue Boars graciously acknowledged that the Rams deserved to win, with stand-in coach Jock Cameron conceding they were “beaten by a much better side”, but did so with some frustration at their own performance.
As good as the Rams were, the Blue Boars were a shadow of the side that has accounted for both Pirates and Moree in the last month, and were soundly beaten across the park.
“We knew we were in for a tough game,” Cameron said.
“(But) It was definitely disappointing to end like that when we’ve come off the back of seven in a row.”
The Rams’ tactic to play territory didn’t surprise him and they had expected it. He was though admittedly a bit surprised by how much they kicked, although it had the desired effect.
“The pressure that was applied to us forced errors from us,” Cameron said.
The Blue Boars were virtually feeding off scraps in the first half, and on the rare occasion they did get down their end usually turned the ball over before they could really put the Rams under pressure.
Still, at half-time to be only down 13-nil after all that the Rams had thrown at them, there was a real sense of belief.
Even after those two early tries in the second half their optimism didn’t wane. But that second half surge that has been a feature of their second round never came.
“They pretty much did to us what we’ve been doing to other teams in the second half,” Cameron said.
Losing Beau Brummell to the bin for 10 minutes in the second half not long after Dom Bower’s try didn’t help their cause.
Already missing three key players, they had lost outside centre Jacob Booby, who was the catalyst of their stunning fightback against Pirates, midway through the first half.
Will Morley did provide them with a brief moment of joy darting over from a maul from a rare foray into their 22.
Cameron pointed to their defence in the first half as a highlight.
“We got to where we are on the back of our defence and we started the game that way,” he said.
Casting Saturday’s disappointment aside there are plenty of positives to take away from the season – including the wins over the Bulls and Pirates – and Cameron believes there is an exciting future for the side.
“It is a young side and we’re very proud of the way they’ve come together,” he said.
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