STRAIGHT SETS: Seagulls' BRL title defence over
IT IS not the way any Hervey Bay Seagulls player wanted the season to end.
The club celebrated its third straight Bundaberg Rugby League minor premiership four weeks ago, and all talk was about how the club would defend the title it won last year.
A two-week break due to the awards weekend and a bye, as well as a mounting injury toll, combined to undo a full season's worth of work in a horror eight-day stretch.
The Seagulls, who looked sloppy in the major semi-final loss to Past Brothers last week, fell apart as a hungry Wallaroos ran rampant.
Captain Clinton Horne said there were no excuses from his side.
"It's disappointing but you just can't play like that in a semi final,” Horne said.
"You can't give them an inch or they'll take everything.”
Horne said his side never found its stride.
While the Seagulls dominated early passages of play, poor handling, execution and discipline conspired against the defending premiers in a horror second half display.
"We should've stayed in the sheds,” Horne said.
"We dropped it on the second tackle in almost every set, and when we didn't have the ball we gave away silly penalties.
"We just couldn't do it. We weren't concentrating.”
Wallaroos coach Peter Waters praised the efforts of the Seagulls' youngest players, many of whom stepped up from under-18s to help the A-grade team's premiership defence.
"They're in the same boat we were last year,” he said.
It was not a good day for the Seagulls, who lost U18s and women's preliminary finals to Wallaroos and Isis respectively.