Knights suffer horror run of ‘random injuries’
THE Harbour Knights have fallen to fellow competition high-flyers Tamworth as the injuries begin to mount.
It was a tight tussle in Tamworth, with the Knights crossing twice in the first half to ensure they entered the break level on points.
Though it wasn’t long before Tamworth pulled away, scoring another two unanswered tries to put the game beyond reach.
The 24 - 12 loss means the side drops to third on the ladder, five points behind the undefeated leaders, Walcha.
Knights’ co-coach AJ Gilbert said the side had been hampered by injury, with several players pulling out days before the game.
Their situation then went from bad to worse within the first half of the match with more players leaving the field injured – including one with a fractured cheekbone.
“We have been pretty unlucky with some pretty random injuries,” he said.
“In the first half we lost our five-eighth, winger and outside centre and a second rower broke his hand (but played on),” he said.
“I never seen anything like it.”
However, Gilbert was careful not to attribute the loss to just their mounting injury list and said the side had plenty of opportunities to score.
He said there we many situations, particularly lineouts deep in Tamworth’s territory, where the side couldn’t capitalise.
“In every other game we have converted that into points,” he said.
“We had opportunities to score points but it wasn’t our day and Tamworth just played better.”
Once again the Knights’ second grade side put in a commanding performance, running in five tries to beat Tamworth 38 - 14. The win ensures they continue their undefeated run into the penultimate round.
Gilbert said they continued to show their quality and with the mounting injuries, there were plenty of opportunities for players to step up and run out with the first grade side.
The Knights are up against St Alberts Rugby Club next, who are hitting some form in a late push to make the top four.
The Armidale side made light work of fourth placed Armidale Blues at the weekend and will be hoping take advantage of their game in hand to improve their position ahead of the finals.
With their final two games against opposition sitting just behind them on the ladder, Gilbert said their objective was clear.
“It is a must win the next couple of games. It’s all pretty close,” he said.