ILL-DISCIPLINE has been blamed for the Gympie Devils 6-20 capitulation at the hands of local rivals The Mary Valley Stags at Jack Stokes Oval on Saturday.
Devils front rower, Ben Rose, who stood in as captain for the game, said the team's poor first half discipline was largely to blame for the Mary Valley's early dominance.
The Stags chalked up 14 points to Gympie's nil in the first half.
"Mary Valley scored early, more or less through possession in the first 15 minutes,” Rose said.
"We had an honest talk at half time after being 14-0 down.
"Their forward pack got over the top of us early.
"Those first fifteen or twenty minutes killed us.
Rose admitted the ill-discipline came from Mary Valley's dominance over Gympie, with the Stags getting under the Devils skin.
"We went in probably overconfident. We need to take some silly things out of our game.
"We had a big early trial win against Maryborough which I think gave us a false sense of where we were at.
"The score could have been a lot worse,” he said.
"The whole game was pretty heated to be honest. That was a bit of the ill-discipline - it came from them getting inside of our heads a little bit.
"I don't think there was much in it in the end, a couple of our boys were sent off.”
Rose said those early mistakes cost them, but it could have been worse.
"The score in the first half was pretty flattering to us, but the second half we were able to show some fight and regain something.
"Just little mistakes, mistakes in defence, turning over the ball at key moments.”
Gympie's second half showing was an improvement, tying with Mary Valley with one try each.
"If we had played the way we did at the back end we might have come away with a win.”
Gympie is now playing in division two after dropping down from division one last year. Rose admitted the team may have underestimated the level of the Stags game.
"We lost of few scrums which is unusual for a modern game of footy.” Rose said.
"Some things were done in the scrum which you don't see in the modern game. It should have been pulled up for but wasn't. It was like an old-school scrum.
"Their forward pack were a stand-out for them.
"I don't think their forward pack is better than ours, but they (Mary Valley) were on the night, definitely.”
Rose said the team have now hit the ground and reached a realisation.
"We probably expected the game to be easier than it really was. We expected to go out there and roll over the division two sides but it didn't and we have to put in the effort.
"We just have to come in with a better attitude, be ready for a harder game.
"Mary Valley had a good team and no doubt they will be one of the team who will be there or thereabouts at the end of the year.
"Their whole team played well together. They were a strong defensive unit for most of the game.
"We are definitely looking forward to the next game.”