Dubbo Rams coach Bart Sykes admits he had some lofty ambitions for his side in 2018, and while they are losing touch with the leaders he is asking fans to maintain the faith.
The Rams were beaten 69-64 by Queanbeyan at the Woolshed on Saturday night, taking their season tally to one win from five matches.
The loss was particularly costly, as it consigned them to the bottom of the competition ladder ahead of this weekend’s road trip to Wagga Wagga.
“It’s the same story every week unfortunately. We keep showing signs that we’re gelling and getting better and then just don’t get the job done on game day,” Sykes said.
“Saturday was a game we should have won, and one we let slip a bit through a poor patch late in the second quarter and early in the third.
“We did a good job to get back within striking distance but the effort we had to put in to do that took it’s toll and we couldn’t maintain that standard.”
In a match where the quality and intensity lifted the longer it went, the Yowies were never headed.
On the back of some solid play from Shaun Mills (16 points) and Jonathon Miller (15) they were able to lead 13-9 at quarter-time before extending the buffer to 30-22 at the main break.
At its highest, the gap between the two sides extended to 15 points before the Rams rode on the back of a vocal home crowd to get within six with one term to go.
Momentum ebbed and flowed, but some missed free throws and some 50/50 calls that went against them conspired against the home side.
”There’s some things we can do better, and we have to do them better if we want to be winnin games in this league,” Sykes said.
“I thought Adam (Ward) had his best game for us, and when we were getting him low in the post we were having some luck.
“Will Howell ran the side well again, but we struggled a bit with game management when we needed to give him a spell.
“The other thing that probably cost us was our perimeter wing defence.
“With Adam and Martin Iti teams don’t want to go inside against us, so we have to sharpen up our outside defence and not give them open shots.
“We have a road trip to Wagga this weekend, so we’ll load the boys onto a bus, go down and play and then stay the night and spend a bit of time with each other and bond a bit.”