Magpies lose way at Mullumbimby
IT was always going to be a huge ask.
A road trip to Mullumbimby, key players missing in action, and a parochial home crowd baying for blood.
The Magpies' woes continued on Saturday, going down 28-12 to Mullum.
And just when they thought their season couldn't get any worse their co-coach and halfback, Dallas Waters, limped from the field with a groin injury.
“We had four key players out for the game and there was also a couple of no-shows,” a dejected Magpies captain Xavier Sullivan said after the game.
“Ryan Binge, Mossy (Joel Moss) and Marto (Tom Martin) were all out, and for some reason Andrew Kapeen ended up playing reserve grade.
“And it got worse when Dallas left the field injured early in the first half.”
At one stage the Magpies were trailing the Giants 28-0 and, according to Sullivan, it was not until late in the second-half his side decided to stick to the game plan and put points on the board.
“We came home strong in the second-half, but it was too little, too late,” Sullivan said.
“When we finally stuck to the game plan we played some good footy and came up with some points.”
Although disappointed with the loss, Sullivan was full of praise for second-rower Trent Cullen and five-eighth Todd Cameron.
“Trent was outstanding and received the Players' Player award, and Toddy was back to his best,” he said.
“I also thought Robbie Howard was very safe under pressure on the wing.”
Sullivan admitted what the Giants may have lacked in size they made up for with their speed around the ruck.
“They are not a big side, but were very quick if they got behind the ruck area,” he said.
“Their young halfback, who has made the NSW Schoolboys side, was very classy and caused us a lot of headaches.”
The Magpies will be desperate to get their season back on track, but it won't be easy next week against NRRRL front-runners Murwillumbah.
“We have another tough game against Murwillumbah next week but it's at home which will help,” Sullivan added.
“I know we will have several players back on deck, and we're looking forward to the game in front of our home crowd.”