Gympie’s Ryan Gottke won this ball from Maroochydore’s Anton Jaaniste, but the Hammers went down in the the weekend’s opening round match played at Cotton Tree.
Gympie’s Ryan Gottke won this ball from Maroochydore’s Anton Jaaniste, but the Hammers went down in the the weekend’s opening round match played at Cotton Tree. JOHN MCCUTCHEON

Hammering crushes first round hope

THINGS didn’t quite go to plan for the Gympie Hammers rugby union team in its season opener at the weekend.

Taking on competition heavyweights Maroochydore away at Cotton Tree, the Hammers were unable to land a blow, hitting the deck with a resounding 45-0 defeat.

Hammers coach David Crowley said the defeat left his players feeling the sting of disappointment.

“Maroochydore was really playing well, so we can’t take anything away from their performance,” he said.

Breaking down the loss, Crowley said his side fell victim to raging nerves.

“I think the players were too nervous and they had built things up leading up to the game,” he said.

Nervous energy in small doses can help a side perform, but in the Hammers’ case, it hampered their efforts to make inroads into the game.

“We were unable to maintain pressure when it mattered most during the turning points of the match,” Crowley said.

“Once Maroochydore had that momentum, it was hard for the boys to know where to turn.”

Maroochydore’s potent attacking play was evident during the opening stages of the game as the Hammers found themselves pinned down in defence.

With nowhere to turn, the Gympie boys began to show signs of being overwhelmed.

“Maroochydore boxed us in, and that’s a credit to their playing style,” Crowley said.

In the aftermath of the heavy defeat, Crowley said the team would get back to the training paddock to touch up on areas of weakness which became apparent against Maroochydore.

As for nerves, the coach believes with the first game now tucked away, his players should loosen up.

Meanwhile, players to receive a special nod from the coach included Scott Finlay, Brad Swan and Drew Ogden.

The Hammers are again in away action this weekend, but the side won’t get a reprieve against established powerhouse University.

“We’re jumping straight from the frypan into the fire,” Crowley said.

“University will be tough, but that could be a good thing.

“We will take a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude into the game and hopefully that will free us up to better play our game.”

Gympie Times


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