Silly mistakes cost the Dubbo Rhinos a win against the Mudgee Wombats on Saturday, coach Guy Turner said.
The Rhinos were beaten 24-17 by the Wombats in New Holland Cup round five action at Jubilee Sportsground but Turner felt his side had blown a win.
The Rhinos had recovered from a 12-0 deficit in the first half to lead 17-12 in the closing stages, only to concede two further tries to Mudgee.
"It's extremely disappointing to be honest, it’s not what we came here to do,” Turner said.
“I think we just made silly mistakes and played into Mudgee’s hands and played their game not ours.
“We were coming back then we didn’t play smart football, we really should’ve won that one.”
The Wombats opened the scoring seven minutes into the match with through scrum half Cameron Rosamond before David Jessiman crashed over.
The Rhinos looked like their own worst enemies, turning over the ball and failing to put the home side under any real pressure.
Fifteen minutes out from half-time they were able to hit back with a try to Cameron Dean and were surging to another just before the break but were held out by the Wombats defence.
The Rhinos trailed 12-7 at half time but Viliame Turuva was able to loch the scores just five minutes into the second half after streaking away along the touchline.
They hit the lead for the first time when Nacewa Nalagi reached out and scored to take it to 17-12.
The Wombats were able to stay in touch and didn’t panic, with Jessiman’s second try locked things up again at 17-all.
With the clock ticking away the big number-eight made it a hat-trick from a scrum with around 10 minutes left to play.
A fumble by the home side at their end with two minutes remaining gave the Rhinos a sniff, but the Wombats defence dug in to hold on 24-17 and jump the Rhinos on the ladder.
Wombats assistant coach Rob O’Connor was a happy man after the win.
“The attitude and commitment to defence won the game, and for long periods for phase after phase both halves,” he said.