Consecutive losses put Pirates on back foot
A late 18-point comeback wasn’t enough for Fox Memorial rugby league defending champions Pt Chevalier in round 11.
The gritty 24-18 loss came from a romping top-of-thetable Papakura Sea Eagles at Walker Park on June 27.
‘‘The other side outplayed us and wanted it a lot more than our boys wanted it,’’ Pt Chevalier coach Grant Pocklington says.
‘‘We’ve been down some numbers over the last couple of weeks but that’s no excuse,’’ he says.
The top-four contenders have struggled to maintain the form which saw them steamroll the competition early on this season.
‘‘The boys are working really hard but something is just missing come game time.
‘‘We’ve got to find something that triggers the switch.’’
Trailing 18-0 at halftime, the Pirates came alive in the last 15 minutes of the game.
The switch this time proved to be a try from Karl Semiti which opened up the floodgates to a flurry of a comeback.
‘‘It was just a little bit too late,’’ Pocklington says.
‘‘We had a lot of opportunities but we just didn’t execute well enough.’’
With fourth-place Marist Saints on the block for this weekend, Pocklington knows his side is in for a tough match.
‘‘We’ve just got to get back to driving the ball and those basic fundamentals,’’ he says.
The Pirates still have their eyes firmly set on a top-four finish but know it won’t be an easy ride to the finals.
‘‘Now we’ve just got to focus on each game as it goes, get back and keep it simple,’’ Pocklington says.
Dylan Moses throws a pass to a Pirates team-mate.
Pt Chevalier’s Arden McCarthy tries to break free of the Papakura defence.
Pirates’ Saula Solomona spots a gap in the Sea Eagles’ line.