It’s not often you hear a coach say a loss helped his team out.
But for Matt Grinter and his Pirates under 19s side, that’s exactly what happened a fortnight ago.
Pirates took on Farrer for a spot in the grand final and went down 34-29.
Pirates then triumphed against Narrabri 46-5 to progress.
After a stunted season, where Pirates managed 12 games over 22 weeks, the extra match was welcomed.
“Being able to get another game under our belt against Narrabri has built confidence and could work in our favour,” Grinter said.
In terms of the level that us and Farrer are at, we’re a very similar level skill-wise.Matthew Grinter
“It’s a different story for guys that are older but for 18, 19-year-olds, they’re tough as teak and that extra bit of game time hasn’t hindered, it’s helped.”
Farrer and Pirates have clashed a total of four times this season with Farrer winning all four clashes.
The average winning margin in those games was just 6.5 points.
Grinter coached Pirates to an undefeated premiership last year and said to secure another premiership, his side would have to rub out their mistakes.
“I’ve looked at all the round games where we played and I think it just came down to a few silly mistakes and errors by our guys in key moments of the game,” Grinter said.
“We gave up a a 26-12 half-time lead in a home game and saw them runaway with it in the second half.
“In terms of the level that us and Farrer are at, we’re a very similar level skill-wise. It’s just key moments in the game where we don’t execute.
“They’ve got a very good 10 [Lockie Smith] that is a player that reads the game really well. He’s also really good at game management. He kicks to the corners and turns the opposition around. We’ve developed a game plan to shut that down, hopefully.”