The Yass Rams lost another close game this weekend, going down 19-15 to the Taralga Tigers.

The Rams got a late lead and looked set for a big win over last year’s premiers, but it wasn’t to be with the Tigers scoring a final try with 2 minutes left in the contest.

Coach Ian Macfarlane was pleased with his side’s performance despite it being the third week in a row they’ve lost by only a small margin.

“It’s pleasing, we have a bunch of young blokes playing men’s football, but they’ve got to learn to close games out and play with a bit more discipline.”

“We sorta piggybacked them from one side of the field to the other and put ourselves in a bad situation, and that’s something we’ve got to learn, but the effort is there,” he said.

Ian acknowledged that whilst they didn’t get the win, if you compare the weekend’s performance to how they went against Taralga last year, the improvement is substantial.

“It’s coming together!”

“Last year’s results were, we got beat by this team 48-5 and 41-7, so to only go down by 4 points was quite pleasing.”

“We’ve got the talent, we’ve got the ability, we’ve got the work ethic. Sometimes we just need the mentality,” he said.

The mental side of the game is where the Rams Coach believes his side’s greatest room for improvement is, and he implored his players to be thinking footballers.

“You can be the biggest toughest footballer in the world, but if you haven’t got a brain, you’re not much used to me. We have to start thinking about things a bit better,” he said.

They came up against a Tigers team with a few more mature heads and were taken to class by their experienced forward pack.

“The Taralga forward pack have been around for 7 or 8 years now, and they schooled us a bit in the set piece side of it,”

“The average age of our forward pack is 21, and that’s with a 41-year-old in there,” Ian said with a chuckle.

Whilst sitting 1-3 heading into a clash with the undefeated Bungendore is far from an ideal way to start the season, the self-belief amongst the Rams young group is growing.

“We’re still in the hunt. We’ve just got to keep believing and keep moving forward.”

“One of the guys said to me after the game ‘I think we’ve proved we can mix it with the best’, so that’s a positive step.”

“We got a really tough game this week; Bungendore is undefeated. They’re chock-a-block full of talent,” said Ian.

Sometimes teams in sport can forget how to win, and after a tough 2020 the Rams are still re-learning how to close out games and get the results they want.

Ian thinks that once the Rams can get a few wins on the board, the confidence will flow on from there, and we’ll see a “different team”.

Max O’Driscoll