The Gundagai reserves suffered their first loss of 2016 on Sunday, going down 12-8 to Wagga Brothers.
With a number of players called up to first grade, the Tigers were a shadow of the side that had dominated the Burmiester Shield all season, but captain/coach Mark Eccleston refused to use it as an excuse for his side’s loss.
“We’re not going to use that as an excuse because we’re not that sort of team, we had the players to get the job done today,” he said.
The Tigers made a poor start, dropping the ball from the kick-off, and backed this up with another unforced error soon after in an uncharacteristic display by the home side.
To their credit, Brothers were good enough to take advantage of their opportunities and opened the scoring through five eighth Liam Carey to make it 6-0.
“You are always going to have those days, and it’s a matter of reacting a bit quicker to it and unfortunately it took us the entire first half to realise we were in a real fight but it gives us something to work on and we’ll be back,” Eccleston said.
In the 15th minute the Brothers split the Tigers open down the right and fullback Edan Price backed up and raced away to score. Carey converted to make it 12-0 but they undid their good work when centre Steve O’Neill was sin binned late in the first half.
The Tigers finally got on the board via an unconverted try fullback Liam Worsnop in the 44th minute which made it 12-4.
Just minutes later Brothers had a try disallowed for a forward pass and the Tigers scored down the other end via winger Ben Armour who raced away and improved the position. Unfortunately he missed the easy attempt and the Tigers found themselves behind 12-8 late in the match.
“It gave us a good wake up call, it’s hard to get guys to training when they work long hours or are sick, but we just have to put the extra effort in to maintain our position on the ladder,” Eccleston said.
A short drop out gave the Tigers an outside chance of victory with three minutes remaining and an ensuing penalty put them deep in Brothers territory but a bad pass resulted in an error and the Brothers ended the Tigers’ winning run.