To let your opponent’s dummy-half get across the white chalk for a try is a little bit on the slack side. To let him do it again is outright negligence. To have the number nine score a third time is enough to make you spew – but that’s what happened at Les Donnelly Field on Sunday.
The Mullumbimby Giants, in their last fixture of the NRRRL season, played tough and with commitment to the end, but they got done 34–18 by the Bombers from Evans Head.
When push came to shove, they were brought undone by their own mistake rate and – compared with the visitors – an inability to take the opportunities they regularly created for themselves.
After not finding the numbers to be part of the 2016 competition, the proud club made an encouraging start to 2017, with tenacious victories over Cudgen and Murwillumbah (both of whom will figure in next week’s semis).
But injuries and a lack of depth in crucial areas pulled the rug out from under the Blue and Golds, and a couple of recent hidings did not augur well for the boys’ farewell appearance in front of their stand-fast supporters.
Mullum looked the better side in the first forty. It might not have been champagne footy, but the Giants were as keen as mustard and, with a blend of old heads and the creative Earl brothers leading the way, they looked more than capable of an upset.
But Evans Head jumped to the lead and things looked dire for the home side when they lost tireless prop Dan ‘Grecian 2000’ Molenaar and hard-working hooker Jake ‘Gyllenhaal’ Wood to injury.
Still they were leading 10–6 at half time.
But instead of playing with confidence, the Giants imploded.
The truth is, Evans took it up a gear and Mullum didn’t.
Hedditch and Dylan ‘Bobby’ Estreich got late tries, but the Bombers were always in control.
Earlier, Mullum’s U/18s wound up their season with a fantastic 20–18 win.