Narrabri backrower Jack Maunder said there were phases during Saturday's preliminary final where they played some of their best footy of the season. But that was interspersed with some of their worst, the latter unfortunately outweighing the former as the Blue Boars' best shot at the premiership for a couple of years came to a disappointing end.
Too many mistakes and missed tackles, particularly in the first half, hurt the Blue Boars as Pirates advanced to the decider 31-25.
Maunder said it was "pretty tough to take" but reflected on their inability to, aside from a couple of flashes in the second half, convert their pressure and territory into points.
"We'd get a good roll on but then just turn the pill over and couldn't keep it going," he said.
It was almost a carbon copy of their second round meeting against Pirates - the only difference really the end result.
Playing catch-up from early on in the game and trailing 19-3 at half-time, the Blue Boars again mustered a second half revival to get back in the contest, twice fighting back to within six points.
"It's just a credit to the side really, the spirit of the boys - you can get us down but we always stand back up and give it our all," Maunder said.
After they initially closed to within six, Pirates kicked away again with a couple of quick tries, but the Blue Boars just for a moment caused a few heart flutters for the Pirates' faithful with unanswered tries to Sam Knight and Tim Vaughan.
But it was too little too late for the Blue Boars, the whistle blowing after Michael Cain converted Vaughan's try. The rest of the Blue Boars were gathered back down in their half preparing for the kick-off, believing they had a bit more time.
"I thought we had the kick-off at least so it was pretty hard to swallow that as well, but these things happen," Maunder said.
They were outplayed for much of the first half, despite having the advantage of the wind behind them.
"They're very strong, the Pirates side," he said.
"Their forwards came very hard in that first 30 minutes and it's very hard to match them."
Already missing regular skipper Matt McDonnell, who was away, they suffered another blow when stand-in skipper and inside centre Jake Packer limped off 25 minutes into the first half.
Maunder said that was a big blow.
In saying that, Jacob Nichols did a great job stepping in there.
"He came very hard in that second half and definitely sparked the boys up," he said.
It was a tough day for the Blue Boars with all three sides in action on Saturday bowing out.
The women were beaten by Pirates 26-17 while the under-19s were beaten by Barraba/Gwydir 28-17.