Burgh boys will be back
Illawarra Mercury 08/09/2014
Helensburgh will endure at least another year ruing missed opportunities after their second consecutive heartbreaking grand final loss - this time at the hands of the Thirroul Butchers.
The Tigers were on top everywhere but the scoreboard for most of Sunday's grand final. However, despite spending most of the second half trailing by two points and camped in the Butchers's half, they couldn't find the match winner.
Coach Ryan Powell gave credit to the Butchers' defence but conceded his side should have made more of their chances.
"We had our opportunities and we weren't able to make the most of them," Powell said.
"I was quite happy to just play composed and make them play back-to-back efforts. I guess now I'd say I would've liked to have got more points there in the first half, but it wasn't the way it went.
"The couple of tries they scored we knew exactly what was coming but we weren't good enough to stop it, so that's a sign of a good side.
"A great side like that will just keep turning up and keep tackling the things we did throw at them and we were just beaten on the day. That's just the way it goes.
"They gave us our opportunities by all means but we weren't good enough to take advantage of them and they got away with it, so full credit to Thirroul."
The Tigers didn't get the win but certainly had their heroes on the day, with Blake Phillips shrugging injury to barge his way over in the second half to get his side back in the match while winger Wayne Bremner bounced back from a thunderous collision with the southern fence to be close to their best. Powell certainly couldn't fault his side's effort.
"None of my guys stopped trying. They've never stopped trying at any stage this year, even in games where we've been beaten," Powell said.
"They never even contemplated not trying all the way through and that's a credit to those guys.
"It's back-to-back grand finals now and two pretty tough losses, so it's a credit to these guys to keep turning up. We've got to go lick our wounds now, look at where we went wrong and come back bigger and better."
With unfinished business with the Tigers, Powell hopes to return next year.
"I hope so, it hasn't been confirmed yet, but I'd love to be part of the club again," he added.
"The club's going all the right ways and the playing roster are a great bunch of blokes."