It was a devastated Tenterfield Tigers team left licking its wounds on the weekend after again falling at the final hurdle, losing the Border Rugby League grand final to the Inglewood Roosters 38-30.
Captain/coach Brendan Minns said despite a big comeback in the second half, the Tigers let Inglewood get away from them in the first half, even after the Tigers scored the first try.
Inglewood scored right on the half-time buzzer to go into the break up 22-6, which didn’t help with morale in the locker room.
Ball handling, completions and giving away penalties were again the issues, giving Inglewood too much time with the ball, and they took full advantage.
“We knew we were good enough, we just weren’t good enough on the day,” Minns said.
In the first half the Tigers completed only one set and were put into touch four times.
“We struggled to get momentum going, and it showed,” Minns said.
“We just couldn’t put it together, whereas the second half came off for us.”
The Tigers got on a roll in the second half scoring three ties in a row and at one stage were even in the lead.
Minns felt the turning point of the game, however, was a disallowed Tigers’ try followed rapidly by Inglewood scoring in the next set. This put the Tigers four points behind instead of potentially 12 ahead.
“It was a crucial part of the game,” Minns said.
“The Tigers’ heads went down then.”
He was full of praise for his players, saying they played fantastic footy.
Coedie Tandy in particular was instrumental in getting the Tigers back in the game.
Minns felt Inglewood’s home ground advantage also came into play, an advantage he had hoped the Tigers would secure with a minor premiership position.
“At the end of the day, it was a bitter pill to swallow, losing to Inglewood two years in a row,” he said.
“It was ball handling and mistakes that crucified us. They were the biggest defining parts of the game.”
The committee will now regroup, meeting on Wednesday, August 30 to work out details for the Tigers presentation night.