Pythons close but not quite there
UNION: Fatigue ultimately cost the Bundaberg Pythons their first Spring Cup premiership, according to coach Gary Maroney.
The newest club was left to dwell on another grand final defeat after falling to the Turtles for the second year in a row on Friday night.
The Pythons led 8-0 early in the second half but for the second year in a row were not able to run out the game as the Turtles won 11-8.
Maroney said ultimately not enough bodies on the bench cost them.
"To half time we were the dominant team,” he said.
"Fatigue would have been a factor with one on the bench.
"That eventually stopped our momentum and it showed with a lot of drop ball and spoiled ball.”
Maroney said the Turtles took advantage of that.
"The Turtles went the right route by holding the ball with their experienced forward pack,” he said.
"We had our two or three chances with our back line and we knocked on.
"We have just ourselves to blame.”
Maroney said he hoped the side learnt from this year and put it into more practice next season.
"We're not very good consistently in terms of players (turning up) and it showed tonight that inconsistency from week to week doesn't work,” he said.
"We're a talented team, they've got youth on their side. "It comes down to commitment.
"(The aim is) just to turn up and the experience will come.”
Maroney said the club can be proud of its season, which included the team's first piece of silverware.
"I know there's been a lot of negatives from myself but at the end of the day we did win the minor premiership.”
More on the Pythons and their future in the competition on page 26.