Despite holding a half-time lead after an impressive first 40 minutes, the Yass Magpies unfortunately surrendered the lead in the last 10 minutes against the Queanbeyan Kangaroos at Seears Workwear Oval on Saturday afternoon to lose 24-16.

The Magpies took it right up to the ladder leading Kangaroos in Round 4 of the Blumers Lawyers Canberra Raiders Cup First Grade competition, however, were unable to close out their early good work and come home with the two points.

Yass led 16-6 at half-time but didn’t have the legs for the undefeated Queanbeyan who stormed over them at the death.

Queanbeyan ended up scoring four tries to the Magpies’ three.

Magpies Coach Adam Kyle was proud of his team’s performance despite not coming away with the win.

“It was a really good effort from the boys. We led from the start until the 72nd Minute. It was a really positive effort from the boys,” Kyle said.

“Some of our execution, probably in the last 15 minutes of the game, really hurt at the back end and Queanbeyan scored two late tries to get the win.

“I think we did really well for 65-70 minutes to just stick with our process and execute our plan really well.

“I think at that late stage of the game, we started to fall away from some of our processes that we’ve done so well and potentially started to panic a little bit, which just comes down to our experience.

“This was our fourth game with a new spine, new structure and a new coach, so those things take time and experience.

“Unfortunately, it happened at the big moment of the game where we needed that experience to get our processes embedded. It’s a big learning for the boys.

“With the learning comes a loss. But we’ll certainly be better for the run on the back of it and knowing that we’re certainly able to compete with the best teams in this competition.

The Magpies seemed to have turned a corner this season after finishing with the wooden spoon last year, but Coach Kyle says there is still plenty to improve on.

“It’s been a good turnaround this season from where we were but in saying that we’ve only won one of the four,” he said.

“There’s certainly plenty of development and some really strong results, but we need to start converting some of those into wins in the next few weeks.

“We are definitely heading in the right direction as a team and if we stick to our process a bit longer, they’ll certainly be a few more wins coming this season.”

Kyle said while his side had a good team effort across the board on Saturday, a couple of his players stood out above the rest.

“I thought Sean and Ben Davis, our co-captains, who played front row and lock for us were outstanding through the middle.

“We talked a lot throughout last week about the Queanbeyan Roos forward pack and how experienced they were. They’ve got a couple of premiership winners in there and we needed our middles to stand up on the weekend. We certainly felt like those two boys were outstanding through the middle.

“Our Fijian centre Waisale Nayavucere had an amazing game. They came at him all day and peppered him with kicks, and he solved everything on the weekend. He set up a really good try and was really damaging all game.

“I was really proud of him. We’ve talked a lot with him about just getting that consistency in his game and he certainly delivered that on the weekend.

“It was just one of those games which was really end to end. Even in the first half a couple of the tries we scored were from in our own half.

“I think with a little bit more execution, and again, sticking to our process, which I think we fell away from in the second half, we would have certainly come away with some more points.

“That takes time to stick to our gameplan and understand what we’re trying to do. That comes with experience and gameplay. The more we play together, the more that happens.”

The Magpies have the bye this weekend before facing the Tuggeranong Bushrangers at home at Walker Park in Round 6 on Saturday 20 May.

“The bye this weekend will give us a really good chance to take stock and refresh and then really look to attack the next three games and look to pick up a couple of wins out of there.

“We’ve had a pretty full on preseason and obviously a pretty full on four weeks with some really tough matches. Our biggest losing margin is 10 points so far, so we’ve been in every game.

“We’ll have a bit of a week off this week from training to refreshen. A couple of our players who’ve come into town are taking the option to have a bit of a break and go home to enjoy some family time and some of our other players will be attending junior training this week to have a bit of a club feel through our junior teams.

“It’s a good chance for us to refresh and then look to attack the next couple of home games.

“Tuggeranong have started the season with three wins and a loss and they’re a really good side, they’ve had a couple of really good years.

“A bit like Queanbeyan on the weekend, they have a couple of ex-NRL players in their squad.

“We’ll certainly need to bring our A-game. We set some really high standards about playing at Walker Park this year and making sure it’s a bit of a fortress and when teams come, they know they’re in for a game.

“We’ll certainly be trying to make it as difficult as we can for Tuggeranong when they come next week.”

The Magpies won all three encounters in the other results against the Roos. The Ladies League Tag team defeated the Roos 42-6, Ladies Open Tackle won 86-0, and Reserve Grade won 30-6.

Canberra Raiders Cup First Grade Ladder:

  1. Queanbeyan Roos – 6 points – +54
  2. Tuggeranong – 6 points – +22
  3. Belconnen – 4 points – +28
  4. West Belconnen – 4 points – +12
  5. Goulburn – 4 points – +10
  6. Woden – 4 points – -40
  7. Yass – 2 points – +2
  8. Queanbeyan Blues – 2 points – -34
  9. Gungahlin – 0 points – -54

File photo at top

Tim Warren