HASTINGS Public School’s performance at the PSSA state titles on Monday was a classic case of deja vu.
As was the case 12 months ago, a Central Coast opponent sent the Port Macquarie side packing from the tournament.
Last year it was Warnervale Public School and Kariong Public School achieved the same goal with a 7-4 victory in Sydney.
Coach Tony Scott admitted there was an element of stage fright from his side early in the game which led to Hastings trailing 5-0 at the break.
“There were a lot of nerves at the start and we dropped a lot of ball,” he said.
“But we ended up finishing in the top eight schools in the state, so there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Hastings then took on Bletchington Public School from Orange in a consolation match where they also trailed 5-0 at half-time.
A much-improved second-half performance wasn’t enough to overturn the five-try deficit as they went down 10-6.
“In both games we really put in during the first half and then experimented a bit in the second half with a couple of the year five boys who will be there next year,” Scott said.
“One thing we learnt from both games was that after we reassessed at the break we came out and played a lot better.
“It shows the kids learnt from their mistakes.”
Scott wasn’t dwelling on the result and was focused on rebuilding the team for next year when they will hope to make it third time lucky.
“As a coach I learnt a lot from the tournament and you’ve just got to start with the basics,” he said.
“Once you have that you can look at your more advanced defensive structures.”
He still felt it had been a successful campaign.
“We had to win seven games to get to state level,” he said.
In total, 741 public schools entered the competition across both girls and boys divisions.