DISCIPLINE, or a lack thereof, is what cost Orange Hawks in 2014.
After being bundled out of the Group 10 premier league title race last Saturday by Bathurst Panthers - the second week in a row Panthers had beaten Hawks - captain-coach Tim Mortimer lamented his side’s ill-discipline throughout the season.
“I think that really is what probably cost us, I imagine everyone is still very disappointed,” Mortimer said while reflecting on his side’s fifth place finish.
“There were a lot of times we didn’t like what the referees were doing, and we weren’t afraid to let them know which just hurt us more.
“Even against Panthers last Sunday, we played what I think was probably our best 30 minutes of football all year to start with but then we started giving away stupid penalties.”
Mortimer made no secret of his anguish at losing to Panthers again, and said despite several disruptions leading into the game his side had not reached its potential in the post-season.
“We had some injury problems, for instance (hooker) Mitch Hurford pulled out on the morning which really hurt,” Mortimer explained.
“But I’m not looking for any excuses, I know the team we had was capable of beating everyone else in the competition, but we let ourselves down.”
Not resigning himself to complete doom and gloom, Mortimer highlighted several positives to have come from season 2014.
“We blooded plenty of young blokes, and unearthed a seriously good player in (halfback) Keegan Harding,” Mortimer said.
“We did a huge job to resurrect our season after a few losses in a row, and we won quite a few in a row after that.
“I think most guys are keen to go again next year, we’ve become very close mates, and the loss will motivate them. The future looks good for Orange Hawks.”
Mortimer went on to finish with a wonderfully predictable premiership prediction.
“I’m on (Bathurst) St Pat’s,” he said.
“They’re too good across the paddock.”