Hammers lose thriller
A WEEK after notching their first win of the Sunshine Coast competition against Fraser Coast, the Gympie Hammers rugby union team came close to making it a double at the weekend.
Taking on Nambour at Albert Park Saturday afternoon, the Hammers went down by a single point 31-32 in a game that had spectators biting down on their fingernails.
Coach David Crowley said the game slipped away in the dying minutes of the clash.
“We just ran out of time in the end,” he said. “It was a really good game despite the result not falling our way.”
Nambour initially had the upper after a dominant first half, hitting the sheds in front 17-nil.
In the past, the Hammers would have fallen away at this point. But not this time.
“Our fitness this season has been the best it has ever been and we really came back fighting in the second half,” Crowley said.
Stepping it up, the Hammers clawed their way back into contention with a change in tactics combined with a greater level of composure.
The Hammers appeared unsettled during the first half, succumbing to nervous energy.
“We were too eager, but that changed in the second half, which was great to see,” Crowley said.
Although playing their way back into the game in the second half, three missed chances at tries cost the Hammers dearly.
Converting just one of these opportunities would have tipped the scales in the Hammers’ favour.
Crowley admitted his players were frustrated when the full time siren sounded.
“The game was ours there to take, but we let it slip with a few costly missed chances,” he said.
“It’s the one that got away, but full credit to Nambour for how they played and held us out.”
While losing by a single point was tough, this was compounded by the loss of Dan Luva to injury.
Luva fell awkwardly in a tackle and painfully dislocated his knee cap.
Gympie players were still waiting yesterday on the results of scans to see if there was ligament damage to the knee of their team mate.
“It’s quite serious and he will be out for a while,” Crowley said.
“It was just one of those things that can happen when you don’t land right and Nambour was very sympathetic about it.”
Although one player down, the Hammers’ stocks have been boosted by the addition of David Wellington, who made his debut for Gympie at the weekend.
With experience playing representative footy with the Sunshine Coast Stingrays, Wellington, a centre fullback, has given the Hammers extra pep.
In total, the Hammers scored five tries and converted three compared with Nambour’s five tries (two converted) and a penalty.
The Hammers play this weekend away against Caboolture.