Missed opportunity for Pokolbin
BY ALEX TIGANI
Pokolbin Reds co-coach Luke Kermode reflects that this year’s elimination final was a game of two halves.
He just wished his side had prevailed.
“I have been trying to pinpoint it since Sunday and at the end of the day it was just a massive opportunity missed,” Kermode told The Hunter River Times last week.
The Reds surrendered a halftime lead to suffer a 24-19 defeat to fourth placed Cooks Hill who appeared to be most hungry in the second half.
“Once they (Cooks Hill) got the roll on with the first two tries they had their tales up and they had the momentum,” he added.
The Reds were denied the double chance when Hunter Rugby rewarded second spot on the table to Griffins due to the side’s wins by forfeit.
Then the entire finals series was delayed by a week due to washouts at Newcastle’s No.2 Sportsground.
However the Reds did not cast the spotlight on those obstacles, such was the disappointment of their own performance.
“It just felt like we did draw the short straw but I don’t want to use that excuse by any means,” he continued.
“At the end of the day Cooks Hill was the better side in that second half and deserved the win,” he concluded.
“We spoke about how hard grand finals are to make, let alone win, and you let the opportunity like that slip and it is over in a blink of an eye.
“This was one that really got away and I think the younger guys will take a lot out of that.”
The Reds coaches also praised Singleton Bulls’ trainers Michael Maher and James Bennett for their assistance throughout the month.