IT has become so common to hear coaches and captains talk about how the scoreboard didn’t reflect their team’s performance that it has become a cliche.
But on Saturday Group 10 coach Dave Elvy had every right to bring it out after his team’s 36-16 loss to Group 11 at Carrington Park.
Having battled injury and a red-hot Group 11 backline, Group 10 somehow found themselves well and truly in touch at 18-16 down with 10 minutes to go and a full set of tackles inside their rivals’ 30-metre line.
A handling error followed and in the blink of an eye it was game over as three sets of six brought three tries for the visitors.
Knowing how hard his players had to battle just to stay in the game, it made things tougher for Elvy to take.
“It does [hurt more this way]. I thought with 10 to go at 18-16 we were actually looking a little bit better, but that’s the way the game goes sometimes,” he said.
“But I suppose not having genuine halves made a difference, not to say the guys there did a bad job, but we had two backrowers [Jarod Robinson and Brendon Van Veen] in the halves.
“When you get the players put in an effort like that it is hard to take. The scoreline doesn’t indicate what happened.”
There were countless positives for Elvy and his team despite the result, among them the encouraging performance of young Bathurst Panthers hooker Luke Carpenter.
Pre-game, the sheer class of the Group 11 backline loomed as the biggest threat for the home side and on a number of occasions, particularly on the left side of the Group 10 defence, it looked like they would simply do as they pleased.
Group 10 did well to try and turn the game into a grind and front rowers Matt Kirkland and Wade Judd probably took the points in that battle.
But whenever they were afforded any room, the Group 11 backrow of Pat Rosser and Jamie Szczerbanik caused problems and set up numerous raids for their three-quarter line. Elvy knew that’s where his side were beaten.
“They just had a little bit more flair. Dennis Moran, Corey Stanley, add in two classy back rowers and two good centres it is always going to make life hard for you, so to hold them to 18 points after 70 minutes was a huge effort,” he said.