Western Rams under 23s coach Darren Jackson hopes his young side will learn from the experience following Saturday’s 62-0 drubbing from Monaro in round one of the Country Rugby League Championships.
Monaro ran in 11 unanswered tries in a clinical performance at Cowra’s Sid Kallas Oval, booking their spot in next weekend’s round two match against Riverina and shattering Western’s 2017 hopes in the process.
Jackson described the result as a “low point” in his coaching career, having prepared the Rams to the best of his ability for a tilt at this year’s title.
“At representative footy you always hope that scorelines like this don’t happen but unfortunately it did. We spoke in the lead up about being clinical in the way we were going to play and we prepared the best we can in these circumstances.
“I thought we were going to be better than that,” Jackson said.
Monaro applied endless pressure throughout the 80 minutes, with their strategy of playing direct proving extremely effective.
Six tries were scored by the men from Canberra before the break, three of those coming in a ruthless 10 minute performance before half-time to lead 34-0.
The Rams dug deep during the early exchanges of the second period but a try to Monaro lock Josh Baker in the 55th gave the visitors momentum to pile on a further 28 unanswered points before full-time.
Monaro’s fullback Jake Wheeler, centre Ryley Thomas and winger Tolokana Aroha-Tuinauvai all completed doubles in the second 40 minutes.
Jackson identified a lack of discipline as Western’s downfall. But he’s urging the young squad to take plenty away from the experience.
“Not controlling play and giving away back to back penalties. When you are doing defence, on top of defence, on top of defence you are not going to win footy games and that obviously showed,” he said.
“Obviously we’re feeling a bit low at the moment. As long as the boys learn from this experience and learn from the feeling. A lot of the kids still have two and three years of this concept so hopefully going forward we’re in better stead.
“I though Rakai Tuheke from Blayney looked really good. I think all the forwards compliment themselves. It’s a new concept for everyone. The effort was there but execution wasn’t. We’ll go back to the drawing board and see what happens from there.”