GYMPIE Hammers rugby union coach David Crowley believes every game in the Sunshine Coast competition is tough – but not impossible.
This was certainly the case at the weekend, when the Hammers were able to emerge triumphant from an epic battle against Caloundra.
The Hammers won the away clash in the dying minutes 29-24 after a tight tussle.
Crowley complimented the entire team on its performance, saying no single player carried the team.
“Everyone played extremely well. It was a clinical display of rugby,” he said.
Caloundra scored first, in the seventh minute, but Gympie responded strongly, ending the first half with a 19-7 lead.
“We missed a few chances early on but we closed out the half really well to have that lead,” Crowley said.
The Hammers’ effective attack and defence pleased the coach, as the players combined well to contain Caloundra.
Directing traffic up front with the forwards was Andrew Rye, who rated well with Crowley.
In the second half the teams exchanged blows, scoring in turn before Caloundra started to overwhelm the Hammers.
“They changed their tactics and started to gain supremacy before we were able to respond,” Crowley said.
Gympie’s lead began to dwindle and going into the last three minutes the game’s outcome hung in the balance.
“The boys refused to lose,” Crowley said.
“They just dug in well and showed a lot of grit and determination.”
Last time the teams met Caloundra, running fourth on the competition ladder, won comprehensively.
“I think we stunned them a bit this time,” Crowley said.
The weekend’s winning run will be hard to maintain this weekend when the Hammers line up against competition heavyweight University.
Scoring for Gympie: Ryan McLeod, David Wellington, Sean Dixon, Ryan Gottke tries; Andrew Rye 3 conversions. 1 penalty.