A CONTROVERSIAL forward pass ruling prevented Port Macquarie men’s 20s from claiming a NSW State Cup title on Sunday.
After progressing to the plate grand final, the Makos were pipped 5-4 by Beresfield in a nail-biting decider which was determined as the full-time siren sounded.
Coach Peter Vincent felt it was a tough call, but admitted his side should have been further in front for it not to determine the result.
“The referee said the pass was thrown backwards but the wind blew it forward so I said that was great, but the wind was blowing the opposite direction,” Vincent said.
“We didn’t lose it on that call.
“We should have had the game wrapped up by then and taken some different options, because we created opportunity after opportunity.
“They got away with a lucky call and got up so of course we were disappointed, but we were in it to get experience and we got that.”
We should have had the game wrapped up by then and taken some different options, because we created opportunity after opportunity.Peter Vincent
Vincent said while it was a tough learning curve for his side they would be better for it in coming years.
“It’s now sinking home that when you move up a level and get up to the senior grades you can’t afford to drop that concentration level,” he said.
“They haven’t played at that level before so they’re not used to concentrating the whole time and at that level if you drop for a little while you get hurt and that’s what happened to us.”
The coach admitted when his side lost concentration they “drift away from policy.”
“Our processes … when they do them properly they’re effective and teams struggled,” he said.
“But they have to play more at that level to physically get used to concentrating and staying in the game.”
When they got their processes and concentration levels in sync they were one of the better sides to watch in the tournament.
“A lot of people watching said we played good running touch football,” Vincent said.
“It was entertaining, always at speed and we scored some sensational touchdowns, but the weekend was about experience and playing at that level regularly.
They’re not used to concentrating the whole time and at that level if you drop for a little while you get hurt and that’s what happened to us.Peter Vincent
“They now understand what’s required the whole game.”
Encouragingly, the Makos 20s can stay in the same division for at least the next two years and Vincent felt they could be a force in the main draw.
“In two years, they can without doubt push for quarter-finals in the main draw and then anything happens,” he said.
“With the State Cup there are crossovers in pools so when you get to quarter-finals it sometimes becomes a luck of the draw with who you draw.”
Tyrell Scott was awarded the players player and Brent Nixon claimed the coaches award.
“Those two boys stepped up and we were really pleased that every player did something special throughout the tournament and sometimes you can’t say that,” Vincent said.
“We had two draws and got beaten by one twice and all of these kids can play under 20s for the next two years and some for four years so there is a lot of potential there.”