MAITLAND coach Trevor Ott lamented his young side’s inability to defend errors after they fell short of a miraculous comeback in a 36-30 loss to South Newcastle on Saturday at Coronation Oval.
Dane Tilse hits it up for Maitland against South Newcastle at Coronation Oval on Saturday. Picture: Marina Neil
The last-placed Pickers, who lost 52-0 to Wests last week,were down28-6 at half-time against the defending Newcastle Rugby League premiers in round nine but fought back to lead30-28.
Star recruit Luke Dorn scored his second try next to the posts with 14 minutes to go to put Maitland ahead but a dropped ball andpenalty helped the Lions hit back.
Souths crossed again at the death to secure the win.
“We were pretty poor in the first half and our inability to defend errors really frustrated us,” Ott said.“We’ve got to be better than that. We had a bad scoreline last week we were disgusted with as a team and today we started OK, scoring the first points of the game, but after that we struggled.The second half we were a totally different football team and if it wasn’t for some of our own unforced errors at the death, we could have got away with it.”
Dane Tilse,Brenton Horwood and Joe Morris also scored for Maitland.Liam and Luke Higgins,Lachlan Walmsley, Bryce Donovan, Ofa Manufuoa and Ryan Glanville crossed for Souths.
At Cessnock Sportsground, the Goannas ledtop side Wests 10-4 at half-time but lost 26-12.
Joe Woodbury scored twice for Cessnock who went ahead 12-4 early in the second half.Chad Redman and Callan Richardson crossed to put Wests up 14-12 before a Mark Taufua offload put Ryan Walker away tomake it 20-12. Brad Tighe scored late to cap the win. Wests coach Matt Lantry saidPeter Mannion, who scored in the first half, had hisbest game of the season.
“The pressure Cessnock put on us with their defence and what they did with the footy was really good and we didn’t handle it very well,” Lantry said. “But good sides find a way to win.”
“It was ugly but we found a way.”
Lantry believed his side had heavy legs from playing in the mud last week and suffered from a disrupted preparation after the closure of Harker Oval.