By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
WEST Sydney Razorbacks coach Cal Bruton doesn't have any hair on his wonderfully manicured head but if he did have any, he would've pulled it all out on Wednesday night.
After an encouraging fortnight of improved play leading up to their clash at Sportz Central with Townsville, Wednesday proved to be a return to old habits as the Pigs were outplayed in every facet of the game to be thrashed 129-90.
"That was one giant step backwards, it was very disappointing because it seemed like the effort was there but the application wasn't," Bruton said after seeing his team savaged for the full 48 minutes.
"Some days we're great on the offense but poor on the defence, some days we're good on the defence but poor on the offense, tonight was a combination of both. To give up 70 points in a half at 56 per cent, you can't win ball games."
From the outset the Razorbacks found themselves in serious foul trouble and the Townsville boys took full advantage.
Going to the stripe due to team fouls for the first time as early as halfway through the first quarter, the Crocodiles managed to rack up an impressive 22 points from free throws alone.
Wary of committing further fouls and giving away more points, the West Sydney defence suddenly lacked the intensity required at this level and instead of stopping the bleeding, the points from the Crocodiles began to flow. Brad Newley, Kelvin Robertson, John Rillie and Michael Cedar all racked up double-figure points tallies by the main break and by the game's end, the quartet had outscored their beleagured opponents on their own.
Townsville have now entrenched themselves as semi-finals aspirants and will be chasing an all-important top-four finish, while West Sydney are simply trying to break their horrendous losing streak, which now stands at 20.
TOWNSVILLE CROCODILES 129 (Brad Newley 30, Kelvin Robertson 25) def WEST SYDNEY RAZORBACKS 90 (Scott McGregor 22, Liam Rush 15).