Angry Manley coach Des Hassler responded with a stunning loss to the Cubs’ Cubs, making three attempts in three minutes to break the 14-point lead in the final seven minutes.
It was the second-most recent 14-point defeat of the Cubs, and a four-game win over the Cowboys ended the season.
After the defeat, Hasler did not back down: “We didn’t have to lose that game tonight. That is the harsh reality. This is the true lesson tonight.
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Hassler began his post-match press conference after the game: There are so many situations – where do you start? There may be many ways in which we lost that game.
“You have to give credit where it goes – they just hang on and hang on. They have individuals who can hurt you. I think we played a very good template tonight. (But) I make no excuse, we should not have won that game.
“The players are very sad. We are very sad. We had to close the game.
Captain Dale Cherry-Evans Remains: “Last time, they played a real football style that gave themselves a chance to win and we let that happen.
Manley has lost eight times this season.
Asked if the team would take confidence in the way Cowboys took third place, Hasler could only give a sad laugh.
“Yes, we will,” he said. “Not now”
“We know exactly who we are,” he continued. “That being said, we should not have lost that game at the end of the day. That is the harsh reality. The real lesson is tonight. But we know that there is more to it than that.
Hooker Laklan Crocker was a brilliant flashback in the defeat, the only emotional performance, and especially in the final half.
Hasler said: “It was wonderful tonight. He was everywhere. He experienced everything. He scored two points. Well trampled – that 40-20 there too. It was really strong tonight. He is consistent throughout the year.