Despite coming into the game full of confidence, the under 13s Mudgee Wombats rugby union side was unable to prevail in its grand final against Dubbo Blue at Forbes on Saturday.
A 36-24 scoreline was the end result as Dubbo was able to able to capitalise on the Wombats’ errors in a highly entertaining match.
The 12-point loss was the Wombats’ third defeat to Dubbo this season and forced coach Trent Robertson to rue his side’s missed opportunities despite entering the match confident of executing their game plan.
“We probably could have executed a bit better in some of the plays to take advantage of the game plan especially after having good preparation during the week,” Robertson said.
“We identified they had some big boys in the midfield so we wanted to try and move them around, get them moving laterally and look to see if they were lazy on their slide defence to turn the ball back inside.
“But we turned the ball over too cheaply sometimes, and any sort of mistake we made they capitalised, on the day they were the better side.”
With the Roos jumping out to a 14-point lead after ten minutes, Robertson’s side managed to decrease the margin to just five points shortly after halftime.
The wombats attempted comeback was led by halfback Charlie Kensit and inside centre Liam Gardiner.
Gardiner, who is still eligible to play under 13s next year, was shifted to the centres from his usual back row position and was lauded by Robertson for his effective tackling and an overall dominant performance with the ball in hand.
Despite the Mudgee side unable to claim the victory, Robertson was very proud of his sides improvement throughout the season and how they reacted to the loss.
“They improved through the year and realised the talent and potential they had, and that’s really rewarding from a coach’s point of view,” Robertson said.
“After the game, they shook hands and congratulated them, it’s something we’ve instilled in them during the year.
“Our vice president was there, Ross Smith, and he actually congratulated the boys after the game for the way they handled it.
There were no dummy spitters, or kicking the ground or storming off.”
The loss brings a close to the Mudgee Wombats’ 2018 season and even the harshest critics would say it’s been a phenomenal year for the Batties across the board as the club has made a concerted effort to give back to the community and people in need through charity work and fundraising, led by first-year president Luke ‘Timber’ Humphreys.