The Cessnock Goannas are looking toward season 2018 after their loss to the Maitland Pickers on Saturday officially extinguished their hopes of playing in the finals this year.
The Goannas had everything to play for on Saturday. Mathematically they were still a chance of the finals, it was their old boy’s, the 40-year reunion of the 1977 premiership side and Chris Pyne was celebrating his 250th game.
However, the party was spoiled by a committed and clinical Pickers outfit. They led 14-0 at half-time and went on to win 26-6.
“We just weren’t good enough,” Cessnock coach Steve Kidd said.
“They controlled the footy a lot better. Every time we got into good field position we’d drop the ball or give away a penalty.”
Kidd paid tribute to the Pickers side, singling out their former Super League player and halfback Luke Dorn
“It shows that Maitland are a better side than where they are on the ladder,” he said.
“We just lacked a bit of class, some of the things that Luke Dorn added (for Maitland).”
Every time we got into good field position we’d drop the ball or give away a penalty.
Kidd said that although Cessnock “haven’t played terrifically for the last month”, he couldn’t fault his players’ efforts on Saturday. He said the experience gained by young players would help next year.
“There’s plenty of positives with the young blokes given an opportunity this year.”
Kidd said he hoped the planned addition of several new players over the off-season would help the team go to the next level next year.
Cessnock play their final game of the season against Lakes United on Saturday. Although they beat Lakes in the opening game of the season, Kidd said they’d have to lift for their penultimate game.
“They’re a good team, we’ll have to be up for it.”