MAGPIES TAKEN OUT: Side misses finals
LEAGUE: In the end time was not on the side of Eastern Suburbs.
The side was denied a berth in the finals series after losing to the Wallaroos 24-10 in the final game of the regular A-Grade season in the Bundaberg Rugby League on Sunday.
The Magpies needed to win after Western Suburbs won against Isis the previous night in Childers to make the top five and the finals.
Instead of sealing a spot in the pointy end of the competition, the day turned into a frustrating end to its season.
The side was kept scoreless in the second half while the Wallaroos scored two tries after leading 12-10 at half time.
"We had a period late in the second half and ample opportunities to score but couldn't capitalise,” a dejected Easts manager Jason Templeman said.
"We also made dumb mistakes which compounded the situation.”
Templeman conceded the side should not have been in the position to start off with.
He said certain games during the season put the side out of the finals race.
"We had plenty of opportunities,” he said.
"The draw against Maryborough Brothers certainly didn't help.
"We also had three straight losses to end the season including two close losses that we could have won.”
But, he said, the side learnt an important lesson.
"You don't just turn up prepared to play and expect,” he said.
"It was a tough season for us.”
But Templeman is looking at the positives after the side went from three wins last year to six wins this season.
"Matt (Templeman) has done a great job as coach getting the side close to the finals,” he said.
"The reserve grade has also qualified for the finals for the first time in a couple of years.
"A few boys have qualified from the A-Grade squad for that so they will still be in action.”
The rest will now focus on next year.
Wallaroos coach Peter Waters said the match prepared them perfectly for the upcoming finals after finishing in third with the win.
"We knew Easts would come out hard because they had to win to make the semis,” he said.
"The boys out on the paddock really toughed it out which was the most pleasing part.
"It's prepared us well for Brothers.”
The Roos did suffer injuries to Jack Horder and William Jung but both are expected to be fit for the qualifying final against Past Brothers on August 19.
"The win puts us in good stead for the finals,” Waters said.
"We're a lot better to (win the premiership) and the younger blokes in the side have had another year of footy under their belt.”
Past Brothers warmed up for the finals with a 76-4 win over Maryborough Brothers.
The competition now takes a week's break before the finals.
1 Hervey Bay 2 Past Brothers 3 Wallaroos 4 The Waves 5 Wests 6 Easts 7 Isis Devils 8 Maryborough Brothers
Week 1 Finals
Saturday, August 19
The Waves v Wests at 5pm
Past Brothers v Wallaroos at 6.30pm