Gilkinson: We were a rabble

FOR the first 20 minutes of their Advocate Park clash with Port Macquarie yesterday, the Coffs Harbour Comets were vastly superior.

So why did the side eventually succumb 38-12 to the rampaging Sharks?

“In the first 20 minutes we completed seven of eight sets and were all over them,” Comets boss Warren Gilkinson growled.

“For the remainder up until half time we completed four out of 13 and looked like a rabble.

“As soon as we got back into the rut we were goners.”

Gilkinson revealed the game plan had to shift the ball around and make Port do some chasing for a change.

“Everything started perfectly and to be honest, they had me wondering early if they could keep to this standard all afternoon,” he said.

“But when the ball started getting dropped – usually in our own half – we were knocking up from all the tackling we had to do and the pressure of trying to come out of our half.

“At some stage you become too tired to shift it anymore and the other mob get you in the end.

“Basic football realities, actually.”

Despite the disappointing outcome, Gilkinson was pleased with what he described as an improvement in commitment.

“The attitude was better and once the side realise you don’t get a positive result from doing stupid things, we can rapidly get back on track,” he added.

“Footy isn’t just played with hands and feet, it means you have to play with your brain as well and that means thinking about what’s going on around you.

“Three games remain until the turnaround and if we win all those ... starting with the Heads next week ... then we’re back in the race.”

The veteran coach also has one other problem that needs to be factored in.

“This draw means we always play the side coming off a break,” Gilkinson said.

“We always get a side refreshed, usually after we’ve had a tough one, which doesn’t help much.”

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