THE Comboyne Tigers will rue not having an accurate goal kicker after going down 34-24 to the South West Rocks Marlins in their Hastings League semi final clash on Saturday night.
Each side crossed for six tries each but the Tigers' poor conversion rate - they failed with all six conversion attempts - led to their demise.
The Marlins got off to a flying start when Grant Schubert crossed after just five minutes of play. Mick Judd booted the conversion for an early 6-0 lead.
Comboyne hit back 15 minutes into the clash with a solid team try to centre Jesse Jones. Dennis Jones' conversion just shaved the upright leaving the Marlins 6-4 leaders.
At the halfway mark of the first half, Marlins backrower Grant Coleman crashed over the tryline from close range. Judd booted the conversion to push his side out to 12-4 leaders. Marlins speedster Alex Rouse extended his side's lead with a blistering 65 metre try after beating a one on one tackle deep inside his own half. Judd booted the conversion attempt from in front of the posts to leave the scoreline at 18-4 with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Tigers clawed its way back into the contest when five-eighth George Jones split the Marlins defence from close range before planting the ball over the tryline.
On the cusp of halftime, it was the Tigers who scored the final points of the half when replacement Joseph Paio dummied his way through the Marlins defence. The scoreline 18-12 at the half time break.
The Marlins got off to the best start in the second half when centre Reece McPhillips crashed through some poor Tigers defence to post his side's first points in the second half. Judd booted the conversion for a 24-12 lead.
Comboyne hit back when Dennis Jones crossed for his side after the Tigers decided to take the blind side option from close range.
Marlins were still leaders 24-16 with 28 minutes remaining. Judd scored a team try for the Marlins next to the posts but was injured in the process.
With 17 minutes remaining in the contest centre Rouse crossed for his second try of the night after great lead up work from halfback Craig Smith. Owens, who had inherited the kicking duties for the Marlins, could not add the extras. But the Marlins had extended its lead to 34-16.
The Tigers mounted somewhat of a comeback when Paio grabbed his second try of the night.
Mitch Hill crossed for the Tigers with five minutes remaining on the clock, but Dennis Jones again failed to convert the try leaving the score at 34-24 with three minutes remaining in the contest.
One of the Tigers' best was hooker Shannon Lee who continually split the defence but did not have enough support players to capitalise.
Others to shine for the Tigers included Dennis and George Jones and Jospeh Paio.
For the Marlins, Coleman was his side's best with solid support from try scorer Rouse, Smith and Judd who carted the ball up manfully all game.