Finals place slips away from Gatton Hawks' grasp
RUGBY LEAGUE: Gatton's hopes of securing a place in the finals for 2018 were dashed on the weekend after falling 36-14 to Warwick at Father Ranger Oval.
A try to the in-form Daniel Jennings within the first couple of minutes gave the visitors the perfect start to their must-win encounter but once the Cowboys roped them in, they didn't relinquish control.
Jennings' second score of the night got the Hawks within touching distance early in the second half but Warwick proved too strong off the back of four tries to Joe Fuimaono.
Gatton couldn't quite got into their rhythm on a freezing cold Warwick evening and an inability to complete their sets consistently proved costly.
Coach Shaun Hobson said his side shot themselves in the foot, which instantly put them on the back foot against a strong Warwick unit.
"Unfortunately it wasn't to be as we were out enthused by the home side. Poor completions and the inability to control the ruck defensively led to quick play-the-balls and offloads which in turn were often capitalised on with tries to Warwick,” Hobson said.
"Billy Jackwitz and Daniel Jennings continued their recent outstanding form whilst Michael Frohloff and Daniel Marsh, who have been great all season, gave another typical tough performance.
"Individually our efforts were good but collectively we were just off the pace given the occasion.
"Full credit to Warwick, they completed their sets and they held the footy and they were just too strong.”
But he believed there is still plenty to play for in the remaining three fixtures of the year, starting with a visit to Valleys.
"All is not lost. The foundations for continued improvement have been laid which can lead to potential future success if harnessed correctly,” he said.
"How we as a group finish this season off will have a major impact on how we lead into next season.
"This is the challenge now for our group.”
It wasn't to be for Reserve Grade on the weekend either as they went down by the tightest of margins.
Even with tries to Callum Woolacott, Jack Soderquist, Daniel Nolan, Dean Bichel, Gatton were defeated 23-22.
They now sit in fourth place, albeit with a game in hand over two of the teams ahead of them.
In other action, Second Division were knocked off 26-10 but the Under 18s won 24-16 to remain in the hunt for top place.