Poor game management has cost the Dubbo Kangaroos victory over a fast-finishing Orange City Lions in Saturday’s Blowes Clothing Cup clash at Pride Park.
The Lions had little possession but were undisciplined off the ball in the opening 40 minutes, conceding countless penalties and two yellow cards – it showed on the scoreboard as the Roos went into the half-time break leading 20-3.
But a “fed up” Lions outfit made a point of flipping the game on its head in the second period, and the Roos lost touch with their own game plan to give the Lions a 32-27, bonus point win.
“The big problem is just game management,” Roos coach Beau Robinson said.
“When Orange City got momentum but we were still ahead, we got caught up trying to play their game, throwing some loose passes rather than being cool, calm and collected.
“We were up at half time and then we came out and scored straight after half time so it’s not like we switched off, but with a team like Orange City, they’ve got some really dynamic players and when things start happening they can run away with it.
“Momentum is a wonderful thing – it’s hard to get and it’s even harder to stop.”
“It just sort of, changed,” Lions skipper Logan Brockmann said.
“We made a real effort to change what we were doing because it wasn’t working … but what we did in the second half obviously worked … and we took advantage of it.”
Dubbo did score a converted try in the later stages of the second half to draw level at 27-all, but Brockmann said by that stage he had complete faith his side would still get the job done.
Feleti Wolfgramm’s last-gasp effort – the last play of the game – secured the bonus point win.
Robinson said the side lacked a bit of experience and cohesion in the centres, where Tim Beach – newly returned to the club after playing in Sydney – and Anthony Golding – who’s new to the role – were still adjusting.
Explosive youngsters Luke Ryan and Hamish Gordon were also still lacking a bit of game management experience, Robinson added, but he was confident it would all come together with some “more education from a coaching point of view”.
“Plenty of it was bloody awesome,” he said.
“Orange City came out all guns blazing and we weathered that storm. We did a lot of stuff that we talked about doing but we went away from that in the second half.
“To lose a game like that is much better now than it will be at the end of the season.”
He said the Roos were excited to take on the Bathurst Bulldogs – who beat 2017 premiers Forbes on Saturday – next round at Old Boys day.
“It doesn’t get any easier but we’re excited for the challenge,” Robinson said.
ORANGE CITY LIONS 32 defeated DUBBO KANGAROOS 27